Jem Amber Stone.
Jem Amber Stone.

Grieving Gympie widow’s drug problem leads to driving ban

A GRIEVING widow who lost her husband in April this year has drawn the sympathy of Gympie Magistrate Chris Callaghan, but will still be off the road for the next seven months.

The Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday heard Jem Amber Stone, 59, admitted to police she had taken the drug ice about a week before she was pulled over on Excelsior Rd in the early hours of January 19.

Jem Amber Stone.
Jem Amber Stone.

Prosecuting Sergeant Michael Phillips said officers then told Stone she was required to provide a saliva sample for further testing, and at times she appeared to have dry mouth and found it hard to provide the sample.

Sgt Phillips said there were also times during the 30-minute ordeal that Stone did not appear to be complying with the officer’s request.

Later in the year, on May 22, Stone was caught driving with a relevant drug in her saliva while violating the terms of her restricted driver's licence.

Stone pleaded guilty to one charge each of failing to provide a specimen of saliva, failing to comply with licence restrictions and driving with a relevant drug in her saliva, but told Mr Callaghan she had been doing it tough in recent times.

Stone said she was suffering with grief from her husband’s passing, and had started to treat mental health issues with antidepressants.

She said she had stopped taking methylamphetamine.

“I do have sympathy for your situation,” Mr Callaghan told her, noting the difficulties that had come about in Stone’s life since losing her partner.

Stone was fined $500 and banned from driving for a total of seven months, but no conviction was recorded against her.