Two Western Sydney women who traveled to the Newcastle region and attended a party before testing positive for COVID-19 have pleaded guilty to violating public health orders.
- The couple was found at a party in Shortland on July 29
- Both were fined and ordered to return home to Sydney
- Police said the women attended “several locations” in Newcastle
NSW police said Josephine Lado, 20, and Sulafa Ageeb, 21, had misled police and given false details about their residence when they were discovered in the Hunter region in late July in violation of public health orders.
Police said Rooty Hill resident Lado, 20, caught a train from Broadmeadow on July 27 before visiting several places over the next few days.
This included the Stockland Jesmond Shopping Center, Westfield Kotara and a dinner party where a large group gathered for a friend’s birthday at the Corset Dining & Lounge in Hamilton.
Ageeb was stopped by police at a train station in Cardiff, near Newcastle, on July 29 and was ordered to return to Sydney due to travel restrictions.
Later that night, police were called to a party in Shortland for an independent case, where they again spoke to Ageeb and Lado.
Police said they “observed many people running” from the address into a vehicle parked outside, and found both women in a vehicle pretending to be sleeping.
Police allege that they tried to mislead officers by trying to change residential addresses on their Service NSW app and offered false details regarding their residence.
Police also say people at the party tried to help them change their data on the Service NSW app.
Both were fined $ 1,000 for violating public health orders and told to return to Sydney.
But police said both women instead attended “several other locations” in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas.
The couple had tested positive for COVID-19 when they were charged on August 13th.
The ensuing COVID-19 outbreak locked about 600,000 people in the Hunter region.
Hunter New England Local Health District (LHD) said earlier that the Shortland party and another at Blacksmiths Beach were confirmed transfer incidents.
In court documents, police said the two women’s behavior had “seriously endangered the health and safety of communities outside the capital area of Sydney”.
“Their actions have imposed restrictions on ‘lockdown’ in the communities in which they illegally participated, which seriously affected citizens, businesses and education providers,” the documents said.
Ageeb did not appear in Hornsby Local Court, where her lawyer informed the court via email that she would plead not guilty to following a noted direction and failing to comply with an electronic registration directive.
Lado also did not appear in person at Mount Druitt Local Court.
The 20-year-old filed the guilty plea through correspondence to the Registrar through Legal Aid Penrith.
She will be convicted on Wednesday, November 10, and Ageeb will be convicted on October 27.
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