Judge's warning for first Dunedin man charged with lockdown breach

Dunedin's first person to be charged with breaching the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions has been granted bail.

Ricki Santana Calvert (29) appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday charged with failing to comply with a direction of a medical officer of health, "namely their requirement to self-isolate", along with an unrelated violence charge.

The specifics of the allegations were not aired in court but the defendant chose not to enter a plea, as is his right on a first appearance.

Given the seriousness of the nation’s plight in fighting the spread of Covid-19, Judge Michael Crosbie said Calvert would not get another chance.

"If you come back for another breach of bail or a similar charge then you’re likely to be remanded in custody because at the moment the lockdown is about everyone keeping safe and trying to eliminate this virus," he said.

The police did not oppose Calvert’s bail, subject to a range of restrictions.

Judge Crosbie ordered the defendant to: live at a St Kilda home, comply with the Level 4 lockdown restrictions, abide by a 7pm-7am curfew, answer the door if police checked the home, and not contact the complainant.

"This is not a time to play fast and loose with bail conditions," the judge warned.

Calvert will be back in court next month.

He faces up to six months behind bars or a fine of $4000 if guilty of the breach.

Calvert was the 16th person around the country to be charged, Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield revealed yesterday.

Police had also dished out 263 warnings, he said.

 - Eight surfers were ordered to leave a Dunedin beach yesterday after they were caught by police breaking the Level 4 restrictions.

A police spokeswoman said the surfers were at Long Beach when police arrived about 8am.

She said they were spoken to and reminded of the Level 4 restrictions.

"Police urge everyone to follow the Alert Level 4 rules.

"Exercise should be done in a place that can be readily accessed from home, and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained.

"Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services."

 

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