Paulini has narrowly dodged a jail sentence and instead faces a six month suspended sentence after bribing a NSW government worker to obtain an unauthorised driver’s license.
The shocking scandal involving the former Australian Idol contestant has invoked considerable financial and publicity implications for the singer, severely harming her public image.
After experiencing an array of driving charges since first obtaining a learner’s permit in 2002, Curuenavuli’s license was suspended in March 2016. The 35 year old subsequently contacted now ex-RMS employee, Fale Vaifale, and eventually obtained an unrestricted driver’s license at the price of $850.
Having been initially introduced to the Australian music industry via Australian Idol in 2003, as well as recently appearing as the lead role in ‘the Bodyguard’ musical, Paulini is well known in the domestic performing arts arena. Consequently, her recent transgressions come as a significant shock to many Australians.
Magistrate Michael Price convicted Curuenavuli at Mount Druitt Local Court, placing her on a good behaviour bond for a duration of six months. Prior to the singer’s sentencing, Paulini had been ordered to complete 120 hours of supervised driving according to learner license requirements, as well as a traffic offenders program.
The performer’s barrister informed the court of the offender program’s completion, however admitted that only 15.5 of the compulsory 120 practical driving hours had been accomplished.
While the Magistrate acknowledged that Paulini had undergone some self-rehabilitation, he stressed that the singer’s efforts to evade the legal system through monetary means was strictly unacceptable.
It has now been discovered that the involved Roads and Maritime Service employee also deployed over 40 other fake licenses. The singer’s lawyer emphasized that her client was only guilty of becoming involved with an already established unlawful system and had no part of instituting it.
In response, the police prosecutor highlighted the degree of planning that must have been involved in the offense. Additionally, despite the artist playing no part in the corrupt system’s establishment, she was the one to initiate contact with the RMS employee.
Given Curuenavuli’s role as a public figure, the sentence was also looked at as a deterrent strategy for the community.
In court, Curuenavuli was said to have acknowledged the nature of her offensive wrongdoings and demonstrate remorse for her actions, however she is yet to undergo a series of penalties for the offense.
The consequences of the singer’s engagements are likely to far exceed the six-month sentence, with public shaming having a detrimental impact on her image and seeping into the success of her career as a performer.