Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

A Sydney woman has avoided time behind bars after she struck her daughter while drunk driving and dragged her about 150 meters down the street, causing injuries a magistrate said constituted “grievous bodily harm”.

Dale Palmer, 58, was given a 21-month intensive correction order (ICO), a form of custodial sentence served in the community. She must also do 250 hours of community service, abstain from alcohol and adhere to a two-year disqualification of her license.

Dale Palmer leaves court on Thursday.

Dale Palmer leaves court on Thursday. Credit:Kate Geraghty

On May 2, 2021, Palmer hit her 27-year-old daughter Keely Palmer outside their home in Caringbah South, where they had hosted a birthday party.

After a post-midnight family argument about Dale Palmer’s state of intoxication, she got behind the wheel of her Toyota Starlet to drive away and “gather her thoughts”.

She then struck her daughter, who was standing on or near the driveway, and dragged her down the road after she was somehow ensnared by the car, causing “skin, muscle and bone loss in areas where she was dragged along the floor”, police state documents.

Magistrate Brett Thomas said the alcohol Palmer consumed had “overwhelmed” her ability to realize what was happening as her husband yelled “put the f — ing handbrake on”. CCTV footage captured the victim saying “Mum stop”, “I need help” and “call the ambulance”.


According to the agreed facts, a witness of the incident said, “I looked under the car and saw the female had her leg wrapped around the front shoulder. There was blood everywhere. I could also see her right arm looked like it had been dragged along the ground. ”

It took emergency services well over an hour to extract Keely Palmer from underneath the car. She was taken to St George Hospital in a serious condition and was admitted to the burns unit due to the loss of skin.

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