Western Sydney pair with COVID plead guilty to attending Newcastle party linked to Hunter lockdown



Two Western Sydney women who travelled to the Newcastle region and attended a party before testing positive to COVID-19 have pleaded guilty to breaching public health orders.Key points:The pair were found at a party in Shortland on July 29Both were issued fines and directed to return home to SydneyPolice said the women attended “several locations” in NewcastleNSW Police said Josephine Lado, 20, and Sulafa Ageeb, 21, had mislead police and provided false details about their place of residence when they were discovered in the Hunter region in late July, in breach 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 Centre, Westfield Kotara and a dinner party where a large group gathered for a friend’s birthday at Corset Dining & Lounge in Hamilton.Ageeb was stopped by police at a train station at Cardiff, near Newcastle, on July 29 and directed to return to Sydney due to travel restrictions.LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemicLater that night police were called to a party in Shortland for an unrelated matter where they again spoke to Ageeb and Lado.Police said they “observed numerous persons run” from the address into a vehicle parked outside and found both women in a vehicle pretending to be asleep.Police allege they attempted to mislead officers by attempting to alter residential addresses on their Service NSW app, and offered false details relating to their residence.Police also say people at the party attempted to help them alter their data on the Service NSW app.Both were issued with $1,000 fines for breaching public health orders and told to return to Sydney.But police said both women instead attended “several other locations” in Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie areas.The pair had tested positive to COVID-19 by the time they were charged on August 13.The subsequent COVID-19 outbreak plunged about 600,000 people in the Hunter region into lockdown.What you need to know about coronavirus:Hunter New England Local Health District (LHD) previously said the Shortland party and another at Blacksmiths Beach were confirmed transmission events.In court documents, police said the conduct of the two women had “seriously jeopardised the health and safety of communities outside the greater Sydney metropolitan area”.”Their actions have realised ‘lockdown’ restrictions in the communities they unlawfully attended, seriously impacting citizens, businesses and education providers,” the documents said.Ageeb did not appear at Hornsby Local Court, where her lawyer advised the court via email she would plead guilty to not complying with a noticed direction and failing to comply with an electronic registration directive.Lado also didn’t appear in person before Mount Druitt Local Court.The 20-year-old entered the guilty plea through correspondence to the registrar through Legal Aid Penrith.She’ll be sentenced on Wednesday 10 November and Ageeb will be sentenced on October 27.Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 8 minutes 10 seconds8m Do we really need booster vaccines for COVID-19?Loading form…



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