The preposterous excuses and Pythonesque theatrics of Carnita Matthews and her thuggish supporters outside the Downing Centre Courts this week would be comic, if they weren't so threatening.

The 46-year-old mother of seven, wearing a full black niqab showing just her eyes, has successfully tied the justice system up in knots for the past year, simply to avoid paying a $197 traffic fine.

Described as being "deliberately malicious and ... ruthless" by the magistrate who convicted her last November of falsely claiming a "racist" police officer tried to tear off her veil during a random breath test, Matthews escaped her six-month jail sentence on appeal before the District Court.

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