Coronavirus: The state of our borders

‘You’ve reached an age to behave’

A NSW man who crossed the Queensland border without quarantining and spat on a police officer during a wild night on the town won't spend any of his nine-month jail term behind bars.

Wayne Naden's defence lawyer argued a "miscommunication" was to blame for his border-crossing antics after visiting COVID-19 hot spots in the southern state and travelling north to visit family.

The 51-year-old kept his head bowed and fidgeted frequently as he pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a range of charges including failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction and seriously assaulting police.

Brisbane Magistrates Court was told Naden entered Queensland between August 1 and 17, having travelled through Dubbo and Sydney the month prior.

During a drunken night on the town in Fortitude Valley on August 23, Naden spat on an officer's hand while being arrested. He was found with the restricted drug pregabalin.

Police prosecutor Katherine Steele said Naden changed his story several times, first saying he attempted to cross the border at Tweed Heads on August 12 on a bus, but was refused entry.

He then told police he had crossed the border between August 2 or 3 and had self-isolated in a West End backpackers for two weeks.

"Further investigations were conducted, he had moved through Dubbo and Sydney on July 31 and attempted to cross on August 1," Ms Steele said.

Defence lawyer Lewis Shillito said Naden had only self-isolated for a week at the backpackers before travelling to see family up north.

"It seems there's been some miscommunication or misunderstandings around what he told various authorities," Mr Shillito said.

"He did have a plan in place to quarantine and he did do that but only for a week.

"He says he didn't have any particular intention to act dishonestly."

Mr Shillito told the court Naden was remorseful for his "degrading" actions towards the officer.

The court was told Naden had a lengthy history of property and violence offences and had been convicted of assaulting police 14 times.

Naden received a nine-month jail term but was granted immediate parole by Magistrate Noel Nunan.

51 days of pre-sentence custody was declared as time served.

Naden was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

"You've reached an age now where you should be able to behave yourself," Magistrate Nunan said.

"I hope the 51 days (in custody) has allowed you to reassess your position."


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