GoBookMe.com.au – Melbourne man Nathan Hetherington allegedly escaped Covid quarantine

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A Melbourne man infected with coronavirus is accused of fleeing a quarantine facility twice, which his own lawyer has labelled ‘appalling’.

A Melbourne man infected with Covid-19 escaped quarantine twice in an “appalling” breach that put others at risk of catching the potentially deadly virus, a court has been told.

Nathan Hetherington is charged with two counts of reckless conduct endangering serious injury and criminal damage but did not enter a plea at the hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old tested positive to the virus at the Alfred Hospital emergency department on September 14 but tried to flee once he was diagnosed, police prosecutor Sergeant Geoff Adams said.

He was forced to stay at the hospital under guard before he was moved to a Secure Isolation Recovery Facility but allegedly escaped two days later.

The man told people at the facility he was withdrawing from drugs, started kicking a door and yelled he couldn’t stay any longer, the court was told.

He escaped the facility through a fire exit door but was caught about 30m away and returned to the clinic, the court was told.

Then on September 18, he allegedly escaped his room again and barricaded himself in the staffroom where he broke a window and jumped out, fleeing on the back of a tram.

He was nabbed shortly after near the Botanic Gardens and arrested.

Police allege he placed any “potential passer-by in danger of serious injury by contracting coronavirus”.

“We’re all fully aware of this pandemic we’re in and the impact it’s having on everything, and this accused has no care for anyone else other than himself,” Sergeant Adams said.

He argued a significant jail term would be appropriate.

While Mr Hetherington’s lawyer conceded the allegations were “appalling”, he argued a “short sharp sentence” of time already served would be appropriate.

“In these times it is appalling, it was extremely reckless and the heart of the argument we make today is to give further context as to what actuated the conduct,” he said.

The former labourer was withdrawing from ice and it exacerbated his existing mental health issues, lawyer Tut Tut said.

Mr Hetherington is also accused of punching a hole in the wall and pulling down curtains while he was in the Secure Isolation Recovery Facility room.

The hearing will resume on Wednesday.

Read related topics:Melbourne

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