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Man Becomes First Australian To Be Jailed For Breaking Quarantine Rules

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Man Becomes First Australian To Be Jailed For Breaking Quarantine Rules

A man has been sentenced to six months and two weeks behind bars in Australia after being caught breaking quarantine rules.

Jonathan David was caught sneaking out of his hotel room in Perth to visit his girlfriend and order some food.

The 35-year-old came flew from Victoria and was ordered to stay inside his room at the Travelodge Hotel to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

David hadn't tested positive for Covid-19, however new rules required him to self-isolate for a fortnight just in case.

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Credit: WA Police
Credit: WA Police

Police said the man wedged open a fire exit door at the hotel so that he could come and go as he pleased without staff noticing he was leaving.

Hotel staff eventually caught him outside his room five times over four days before calling police.

Prosecutors alleged even after the concreter was spoken to by police, he got out of his room later that night and took a train to his girlfriend's place.

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He was caught coming home from his partner's property the next morning.

David's lawyer claimed that he 'missed' her and was planning to quarantine at her place, however they got into an argument two days in.

Authorities labelled the man's actions as 'selfish, extreme and gross stupidity'.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in court and was dragged over the coals by the magistrate.

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Magistrate Elaine Campione said he 'chose to roll the dice with other people's lives' and added that the punishment handed down was designed to 'protect the community from those who do not care'.

"Your abject selfishness is made worse by the fact you used public transport, thus heightening the risk and the potential for harm to others," the magistrate said.

Credit: WA Police
Credit: WA Police

"We are in a state of emergency, these are extraordinary times and we are all required to do extraordinary things. The terrible extent and impact of the pandemic worldwide and the sacrifices others have made could not have been lost on you.

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"You were more than foolish, your actions were selfish in the extreme, your actions were reckless in that you paid no attention to the potential risk you were exposing the community to.

"Had you infected anyone the tracing exercise would have been difficult indeed."

The six month and two week jail term was suspended to just one month, however he's been ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

While that might seem harsh, he was staring down the barrel of 12 months behind bars and a $50,000 fine, with Western Australia having some of the toughest penalties for breaching quarantine rules.

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David is now the first person to be sent to jail for breaking quarantine rules.

Featured Image Credit: WA Police

Topics: News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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