Former Australian Idol contestant Paulini Curuenavuli has pleaded guilty to bribing a Roads and Maritime Services employee for an unrestricted driver’s licence.
The guilty plea came as it was revealed in a western Sydney court on Monday the 34-year-old has clocked up 11 driving charges since she first got her learner’s licence in 2002.
The singer, who is playing the lead role in musical The Bodyguard, was in June issued a future court attendance notice accused of paying an RMS worker $850 in exchange for an unrestricted licence.
Wearing strappy high heels and leather pants, Curuenavuli pleaded guilty on Monday at Mount Druitt Local Court to corruptly giving benefit from an agent.
The offence carries with it a seven-year jail penalty.
Court documents show that since obtaining her learner’s licence 15 years ago, Curuenavuli has been caught several times driving unaccompanied while on her learner’s licence, speeding, driving while suspended and driving without displaying her learner plates.
After her licence was suspended in March last year, the Fijian-born singer made contact via text with Fale Vaifale who was working at the RMS centre in Mount Druitt at the time.
The two negotiated and agreed Curuenavuli would pay Vaifale $850 in exchange for an unrestricted drivers licence.
After the payment was made, the singer went to the Mt Druitt RMS centre where Vaifale allegedly added a fake United States licence number into the system, allowing her to produce an unrestricted NSW driver’s licence for Curuenavuli, court documents say.
Curuenavuli’s matter has been adjourned for sentencing on December 15, with the singer to complete a traffic-management course and drive, under supervision, the required 120 hours to complete the requirements of her learner’s licence before her next court date.
What an incredible night in support of Special Olympics Australia! Beautiful night at Quay Restaurant @quayrestaurant raising funds and singing the night away! Thank you so much to @camillawithlove for this stunning jumpsuit, feeling ???? in it. #specialolympics #quayrestaurantsydney #camillawithlove
Her barrister Lisa-Claire Hutchinson told the court the singer would start gaining her required hours “right away”.
Curuenavuli currently performs six to seven times a week until the musical finishes up in early November.
Vaifale was charged in July 2016 for making false documents and no longer works for the department, NSW Police has said previously.
Paulini Curuenavuli’s driving record:
* Nov 2002 – issued a learner’s drivers licence
* Apr 2003 – caught speeding, fined $123
* Dec 2004 – caught speeding, cops $208 fine
* Aug 2007 – fined $384 for driving on an expired licence
* Dec 2009 – fined $647 for driving while unaccompanied on her learner’s licence and $197 for driving without displaying her learner plates
* Dec 2011 – fined $206 for driving without having her learner plates displayed and had her licence suspended for a year
* June 2013 – faces Liverpool Local Court for driving as a learner without an accompanied driver and fined $300
* Feb 2014 – faces Bankstown Local Court after caught driving with a cancelled licence and fined $800
* Mar 2016 – licence suspended after failing to pay a fine
* June 2016 – caught driving unaccompanied and without displaying L-plates and fined $815 and $248 respectively
* July 2016 – issued a fake unrestricted licence
* June 2017 – fined $189 for speeding in a school zone
* June 2017 – issued a court attendance notice to appear at Mt Druitt court accused of paying an RMS worker $850 in exchange for an unrestricted licence
* Sept 2017 – Pleads guilty to bribery charges
* Dec 2017 – to be sentenced.