A man who made three failed attempts to cross the state border at Albury is likely to finally get his wish to travel across NSW thanks to a 16-day jail sentence.
James William Berry, Albury Local Court has heard, was not about to stop trying to get to Woy Woy to live with his uncle
Defence lawyer Tim Hemsley said Berry had an acquired brain injury from a crash five years ago and had mental health issues, including schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and learning difficulties.
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His mother told the court, through Mr Hemsley, that she did not believe her son understood COVID-19's risk to other people.
"His mother's view was he will continue to try to get to that address in Woy Woy to see that person ... she just wants him to be safe."
She couldn't help Berry because she worked as a registered nurse in a Melbourne aged care home, so was governed by strict isolation protocols.
Mr Hemsley then suggested it might be better for Berry to serve a brief jail term, which would be in isolation at Junee.
He could then could be released into NSW and, due to completing 14 days' isolation, would be free to travel to the Central Coast to the home of his uncle, who was a father figure.
Mr Hemsley said the threshold for jail clearly had been crossed for Berry, who pleaded guilty to not complying with a noticed public health direction on COVID-19.
Magistrate Brender agreed and imposed a 16-day term.
Berry, 37, who was homeless and living out of his car, first tried to cross the border at the Hume Highway checkpoint on September 11 about 4.35pm.
He didn't have a permit so was escorted back into Victoria.
Twenty-five minutes later he tried to cross at Wodonga Place, only to be turned back and issued with an infringement notice.
That night he slept in his car in the Wodonga K-Mart car park then tried his luck again at the highway checkpoint the next day at 10am.
He was arrested "for continuing an offence".