News State NSW News Meares skips court appearance

Meares skips court appearance

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Jodhi Meares appears set to escape charges of driving while suspended but is still facing the possibility of jail time over a high-range drink driving charge.

The first wife of billionaire James Packer did not appear at Waverley Local Court on Tuesday, avoiding a large media pack, but was represented by high-profile lawyer Chris Murphy.

The former bikini model and now-successful designer is expected to front the same court on August 20, at which time it’s possible she could enter a plea on the drink driving charges.

Meares had to be rescued from her Range Rover, which rolled after smashing into three parked cars in the upmarket suburb of Bellevue Hill in Sydney’s east in June.

The 43-year-old is accused of recording a 0.181 blood alcohol reading, almost four times the legal limit.

Meares, who is engaged to rocker Jon Stevens, faces up to 18 months in jail and a fine of $3300 if convicted.

Mr Murphy on Tuesday told the court that police had indicated to him that two charges of driving while suspended had been “incorrectly laid” and would likely be withdrawn.

He then told the court a plea would be entered on August 20, and that it would be “a short matter”, suggesting Meares may enter a guilty plea.

He told the court that he had engaged an accident investigation service to undertake a full analysis of the vehicle and the scene.

Mr Murphy said it was possible that the vehicle had a “black box” installed which could also help clear up the matter.

“I anticipate I will be able to help the prosecutor and the court with a full report.”

Mr Murphy refused to comment to media as he left the court, and it was unclear if Meares is even in Sydney.

Since her two-year marriage to Packer ended in 2002, Meares has kept her private life out of the spotlight.

Meares was behind the successful swimwear brand TigerLily, which she sold to surfwear multinational Billabong in 2007 for between $3 million and $5 million.

She has since founded the luxe sportswear brand, The Upside, which she runs from Surry Hills.