A young man who twice tried to cross Albury's border checkpoints and then somehow made it to Wollongong could have "blown" Australia's efforts to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university student has been slammed for his blatant disregard of rules put in place to safeguard people's health and to save lives.
"Your behaviour was just appalling," magistrate Richard Funston has told Harrison James Witt.
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Mr Funston said Witt's offending "in the middle of August" occurred when Australia was "in the thick of the pandemic".
The reason why Australia had done so well compared with other nations, he said, was because of such strict rules and regulations.
"And you ran the risk of blowing it. It was an incredibly serious situation."
Witt, 23, who lives in the inner-Wollongong suburb of Keiraville, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false or misleading statement to authority.
He did not appear when the plea was entered at a mention of the matter in mid-January, but did front Albury Local Court this week for sentencing.
Before the incidents over which he was charged, Witt was given a warning by police, on April 15, when found to be in breach of non-essential travel restrictions imposed under the NSW Public Health Act.
About 11.50pm on August 11, the University of Wollongong student drove a Victorian-registered Mazda 3 into Albury's Hume Freeway checkpoint.
When asked why he didn't have a permit, Witt said he was a NSW resident returning home after buying the Mazda in Victoria. He was refused entry.
Less than seven hours later, he entered the Wodonga Place checkpoint with a permit under the category of "attend court or meet other legal obligations imposed by a court or act".
Police said a "nervous" Witt told them he had been in Victoria "as a result of a domestic violence incident between his father and his father's partner".
Again, he was refused entry. About 9.30 that night, Wollongong police attended Witt's home but were told he had left that afternoon.
They returned at 11.30pm and ordered Witt to self-isolate. He told them he had left home to go to a Hungry Jacks restaurant.
On his offending, Witt told police: "It's not constitutional and I don't believe any court would agree with it."
Witt was convicted and fined $2000.
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