A man has been sentenced to six weeks in prison after breaking lockdown restrictions and regulations to hug his quarantined friend according to the New Zealand Herald.
The incident occurred in New Zealand where 33-year-old Auckland-based painter Jesse Courtney Welsh broke strict coronavirus rules that the government has imposed to fight the pandemic as he visited and hugged his friend who was staying at a coronavirus quarantine facility after their return from Australia.
Sentencing the man to 6 weeks in prison, Judge Keith de Ridder slammed Welsh for violating quarantine rules and not only talking to but also hugging his isolated friend.
“This was not an example of people under severe stress because of a family death or some other reason. You knew full well about the quarantine rules and was not just content with talking to him, but hugged him as well,” the judge said.
According to Judge de Ridder, the 33-year-old had been out with his friends on August 7 before paying an unlawful visit to his friend who was quarantined at Crowne Plaza Auckland.
After the police saw the man having a conversation with his friend, Welsh allegedly walked away from them before driving off in his car. He was arrested on the following day.
As Welsh’s lawyer, John Day, insisted, his client acknowledged it was “a real dumb thing to” break quarantine rules and accepted responsibility for his actions.
Besides being sentenced to six weeks in prison over coronavirus quarantine rules, the 33-year-old has also been ordered to serve a concurrent six-week term over his charge of failing to stop.
Following the man’s arrest, he tested negative for coronavirus three times.
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