22 September 2021

Teen allegedly breached COVID laws during 3:30 am cigarette run

| Albert McKnight
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A 19-year-old woman has allegedly breached COVID restrictions by not wearing a face mask. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young woman has been charged with breaching COVID-19 restrictions after she was picked up by police in the early hours of the morning with a friend who said she had run out of cigarettes.

Court documents show police were patrolling Reid at about 3:30 am on Tuesday (21 September) morning when they saw the 19-year-old and her friend walking down Ainslie Avenue.

The woman, who didn’t have any shoes on, was allegedly not wearing a face mask.

Police spoke to her and she said she knew she should be at her mother’s home in Hackett, where she had been ordered to stay for an overnight curfew after being bailed over other matters last week.

But she claimed she had only just left Hackett. Her friend said she had run out of cigarettes.

READ ALSO Inmate was falsely declared COVID-19 contact, but released without support or test for virus

Police said the woman had slurred speech, was slow to react, and when they searched her, they allegedly found two syringes and a small clip seal bag containing a white powder.

They alleged she breached COVID-19 restrictions by not wearing a face mask and being in Reid without a reasonable excuse.

The woman was charged with failing to comply with a direction without a reasonable excuse when she appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court later on Tuesday.

Her lawyer Lauren Skinner from the Aboriginal Legal Service asked for her client to be bailed again on the same conditions she received from the court last week, saying she had talked to her about the importance of complying with them.

Ms Skinner said her client was “fairly vulnerable” and there was “no indication” she was out early in the morning with the intent to cause offences.

READ ALSO Sydney luxury consultant fined for flying from COVID-19 hotspot to Canberra

While the woman had been cleared by a mental health assessment and Magistrate James Lawton initially said he would continue bail, he developed concerns for her during the bail application.

At times it was unclear whether the woman, appearing over audio-visual link, was saying she actually wanted to be bailed or wanted to go to jail.

Magistrate Lawton revoked her bail over concerns for her mental health and adjourned the matter to 27 October.

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