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Mum who dragged daughter to be sentenced

A mother who drunkenly drove into her daughter and dragged her 150 metres down their street in Sydney’s south is due to be sentenced.

Dale Palmer was more than three times over the legal drink-driving limit when she trapped her 27-year-old daughter who was heard screaming “help help stop”.

The 57-year-old pleaded guilty to aggravated dangerous driving occasioning actual bodily harm after Keely Palmer was pulled down a Caringbah South street on May 2, 2021.

Palmer’s lawyer Arjun Chhabra said it was a complex matter where “a fundamentally good person has engaged in a fundamentally bad act.

He asked the judge to spare his client jail time and instead impose an intensive corrections order, saying the crime was at odds with her good character, 41-year driving history and palpable remorse.

“Ms Palmer has only herself to blame for the wrongdoing she wreaked on her daughter, her family and the community that night.”

Palmer had been at a party drinking wine from Saturday afternoon onwards before her daughters arrived home and became mad, according to court documents.

“They don’t like me drinking wine and they get narky at me,” she told police.

She wanted to drive to the end of the street to “gather her thoughts,” and did not mean to hit her daughter who became caught in the passenger side front axle.

Her father Warren Palmer chased after the car, yelling: “Put the f***ing handbrake on. Put the handbrake on. Stop the car.”

Keely was taken to hospital and treated for complex fractures, large skin defects, abrasions to her thigh and hip area, and burns among other injuries.

The court was told she had forgiven her mother.

Palmer in her own letter to the court said she was “deeply sorry to my daughter Keely”, her family, community and first responders that evening.

“I committed a great wrong and I feel real shame for that criminal wrongdoing.”

Prosecutor Alexander Poulos said the magistrate should send a strong message to the community after a person was horribly injured while trying to stop another who was heavily intoxicated from driving.

Palmer has since abstained from alcohol, attended alcoholics anonymous meetings and sought treatment from a trauma psychologist, the court was told.

Magistrate Brett Thomas is due to sentence Palmer on Thursday morning in the Downing Centre Local Court.

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