Man becomes first Australian jailed for breaking COVID-19 quarantine

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-15 20:13:28|Editor: xuxin
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SYDNEY, April 15 (Xinhua) -- An Australian man on Wednesday became the first person in the country jailed for breaking a coronavirus quarantine, after he repeatedly left his designated hotel to visit his girlfriend, according to local media.

Jonathan David, 35, was sentenced to six months and two weeks in prison, with the majority of the term suspended, after he pleaded guilty in a magistrates court of Western Australia capital Perth to two counts of failing to comply with the COVID-19 direction, the SBS News channel reported.

David will serve one month behind bars and he was fined 2,000 Australian dollars (1,265 U.S. dollars), but if he commits another crime over the next 12 months, he could be forced to serve the rest of the jail sentence, the channel reported.

The man has been in custody since he was arrested more than a week ago and charged with breaching emergency management laws that were introduced to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the ABC News channel reported.

He had flown to Perth from Victoria state on March 28 and was provided with a room at a city hotel, where he was required to remain in quarantine for 14 days, but "wedged open a fire exit door and left and re-entered the building on a number of occasions without being detected by staff", with his movements captured by surveillance cameras.

David had been "more than foolish" and was "selfish in the extreme" during a state of emergency, SBS News quoted a magistrate as saying. The man "chose to roll the dice with other people's lives and that was breathtakingly arrogant", the magistrate added.