Athena Motel Apartments in James St Toowoomba where a man escaped hotel quarantine.
Athena Motel Apartments in James St Toowoomba where a man escaped hotel quarantine.

NAMED: Why Toowoomba man risked lives skipping quarantine

A 25-YEAR-OLD man who skipped out of COVID quarantine from a Toowoomba motel had gone to source drugs, the city's Magistrates Court has been told.

Aaron Sydney Green had been living and working in Sydney but returned to Queensland before the borders shut so his 26-week pregnant partner could give birth to their first child.

On August 3 he had received a Public Health direction to isolate at the Athena Motel in James St for the required 14 days quarantine, police prosecutor Rowan Brewster-Webb told the court.

However, on Monday about 4.40pm he had asked police if he could go outside for a cigarette and was told he could but was not to leave the grounds.

He left the area and didn't return to the motel until Wednesday when he was arrested and taken into custody.

He appeared in court by video link from the watch house dressed in prison issue greens and a face mask to plead guilty to failing to remain in quarantine under Public Health direction.

Mr Brewster-Webb said Green had told police he had had an argument with his partner and he had run out of drugs so he left the motel to source drugs and had stayed at a friend's house for two days.

The mother of a man who escaped hotel quarantine in Toowoomba has apologised on his behalf outside of court. The...

Posted by 7NEWS Toowoomba on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

He has been tested for COVID-19 twice and returned negative results both times.

Duty solicitor Kyna Morice told the court her client had returned to the motel after talking with his mother.

Her client accepted he had done the wrong thing and was remorseful, she said.

Green was seven days into the quarantine when he left the motel and would return to quarantine when finished in court, she said.

Ms Morice conceded that her client had "an unenviable" 8-page criminal history but this was the earliest possible plea of guilty to the charge.

Magistrate Graham Lee said the offending was "very, very serious" given the times in which we live.

Noting the maximum penalty was 100 penalty units ($13,300) or six months in jail, Mr Lee fined Green $1500.



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