Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Man charged with violating lockdown

Another person has been charged with defying Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland.

The 27-year-old man appeared in the Auckland District Court this afternoon following his arrest yesterday on various charges, including allegations he burgled buildings in Grafton and Avondale in April and a Kingsland building in May.

When the man, who has no fixed address, was taken into custody yesterday morning, police said he resisted arrest, escaped custody and violated lockdown orders.

Police said the man caught their attention on Symonds Street in central Auckland, an area that has been unusually quiet over the past week due to the nationwide alert level 4 Covid-19 lockdown. Officers realised he had warrants for his arrest.

“He was advised he was to be arrested, however during this process the man ran from police on foot,” a police spokesman said. “He was found in the nearby area and continued to resist arrest. He was taken into custody shortly afterwards.”

Intentionally failing to comply with an order made under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act carries a maximum penalty of six months’ jail and a $4000 fine. The burglary charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ prison, while escape carries a maximum sentence of five years’ prison.

The man at times gesticulated wildly today while appearing at the Auckland District Court via an audio-video link, interjecting as the judge discussed his case with his court-appointed lawyer. He at one point appeared to put his head in his lap and cry.

Judge Grant Fraser remanded him on bail, with the conditions that he lives with his girlfriend under 24-hour curfew.

Only five people were set to be brought before the Auckland District Court today for first appearances –fewer than the usual amount seen during non-lockdown periods.

“Police are happy with the high level of compliance from the vast majority of New Zealanders, despite a small number of people not adhering to the level 4 restrictions,” a police spokesman said. “We would like to remind the public that enforcement action will be considered for those found to be intentionally breaching the current restrictions in place.”

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