Community detention for repeated lockdown breaches

A man who breached the country’s Level 4 lockdown rules was not playing for "the team of five million", a judge says.

Adam Michael Scott (31) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to the offence, which carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment.

Defence counsel Sophia Thorburn accepted her client had no great excuse when police found him in his car with others early on April 13, 17km from his St Kilda home.

"He was simply bored," she said.

The former automotive engineer had been made redundant when the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in, the court heard.

"He understands it was foolish behaviour that warrants a serious response," Ms Thorburn said.

She accepted the crime was aggravated by the fact it was the third time Scott had been caught by police outside his bubble that week.

He was first stopped on April 8 making a non-essential journey with others from outside his bubble.

Then three days later he was warned again when officers found him in the car park of a yacht club.

He told them he "needed to get out of the house".

Judge Crosbie accepted Scott was not out explicitly causing trouble but stressed to him the inherent risk he posed.

"The Prime Minister refers to a team of five million, Mr Scott, and when you decided to commit this offence, you decided to play for the other team, a very small team and a very dangerous team," he said.

"Members of that team up and down the country have been given sentences of imprisonment. We know now it’s very easy for one person to upset the balance of what’s occurring."

Scott was sentenced to one month community detention.

While it was not as arduous as lockdown, he would be forced to abide by a 7pm-7am curfew.


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