Man charged over party that spread COVID into Hunter region

Police charge man over party that spread COVID into Hunter region

The man who allegedly hosted a series of house parties is facing charges of breaching public health orders. Two Sydney women who attended the parties have tested positive to the virus.

The man, who later contracted the virus himself, got a court attendance notice from Police, who ordered him to appear in Newcastle Local Court next month.

Police will allege that the 22-year-old hosted the parties in Shortland, Newcastle on three consecutive nights from July 28-30.

One of the parties had more than 40 guests, with authorities scrambling to identify the revellers.

Several of the parties were attended by two women who apparently had defied police orders to leave the Hunter region. The pair, aged 20 and 21, have a reputation with police for defying public health orders.

Stronger penalties for breaching COVID rules

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Consequently to this and other breaches, last week the NSW Government increased fines for those breaching the COVID-19 public health orders.

In the case of an individual, the maximum penalty is $11,000, or imprisonment for 6 months, or both. A further $5500 penalty may apply for each day the offence continues.

The NSW Police may also issue on-the-spot fines to individuals of

  • $1,000 for breach of a public health order
  • $3,000 for participating in an outdoor gathering of more than 2 people
  • $500 for failure to comply with a direction to wear or carry a mask for those aged 18 years or older ($80 fine for those aged 16 or 17, and $40 for 15 or younger)
  • $5000 for failure to comply with the obligation to answer questions from by a contact tracer, provide your name and contact details to a contact tracer, and provide true and accurate information to a contact tracer
  • $5000 for failure to comply with obligations to self-isolate if you have a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, including staying at home or in hospital, as determined by a doctor, nurse or paramedic;  providing details of contact with other persons and places you have visited; and complying with NSW Health guidelines
  • $5000 for failure to comply with obligations to self-isolate if you’re a close contact of a person with a diagnosis with COVID-19, including staying at home up to 14 days, as determined by a doctor, nurse or paramedic; submitting to testing for COVID-19; and complying with NSW Health guidelines

If you get a fine for a public health breach and wish to contest it, contact us. Our criminal defence lawyers will ensure that police have complied with the law correctly in a time of rapid change.

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