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'Ashamed' drink-driving judge fined

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A judge who has admitted colliding with a cyclist while drink driving has told an Adelaide magistrate she’s very sorry and deeply ashamed.

Justice Anne Bampton, 51, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to driving with excess blood alcohol and driving without due care on November 30.

She recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.12 after her car struck a female cyclist.

Speaking from the dock, the Supreme Court judge said she was very sorry and deeply ashamed of her behaviour.

“I apologise to the young woman who was riding her bike and I apologise to the South Australian community,” she said.

She also apologised to the SA judiciary, court staff, her friends and family, “in particular my four children who have been very embarrassed by my conduct”.

Police prosecutor Emmanuel Athans said witnesses travelling behind the judge saw her veering within her lane and kept an eye of her after noticing the cyclist in the adjoining bike lane.

They subsequently could not see the cyclist and realised she had been struck by the car.

The judge stopped and apologised to the woman, who suffered a blood nose.

Defence lawyer Stephen Ey said his client had instructed him not to make any submissions in mitigation, knowing she would receive a more severe penalty if they were made.

“She has suffered much humiliation and is highly embarrassed for her behaviour,” he said.

She also was ordered to pay $10 compensation to the cyclist for her broken bike light, $695.60 to police for the cost of impounding her vehicle and court fees.

Magistrate David Gurry disqualified her from driving for eight months and 14 days, taking into account the one month and 14 days she has already served.

He imposed a $1300 fine and ordered her to pay other costs including $10 compensation to the victim for a bicycle light.

Also this morning, Chief Justice Chris Kourakis announced that Bampton would be barred from hearing a range of matters for 12 months from today.

He said previously that Bampton would not hear matters associated with driving offences until the finalisation of any charges against her.

“I have again considered the question of the matters which should be allocated to Justice Bampton in the light of the circumstances of the offences of which her honour has been convicted,” Kourakis said.

He said that “the reasonable concerns of the public arising out of offending of this kind by a serving judicial officer” could be addressed by ensuring that for 12 months from today, Bampton will not sit on any matter:

– with AAP

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