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Mother pleads guilty to breaching quarantine to buy groceries for hungry children

But on September 24, when police went to the apartment to check on the family they found Nazish and her two daughters had left quarantine to buy essentials at a convenience store across the road.

A review of CCTV footage found the mother-of-three had also breached quarantine two days earlier to buy groceries from the same store with her son.

Nazish, who wasn’t wearing a face mask, left the apartment for a total of 28 minutes.

The court was told she was concerned about the welfare of her young children, aged four, six, and seven, after the family ran out of food, and decided to go across the road to get milk and other essentials, rather than wait 24 hours for an online order to arrive.

Nazish’s lawyer Robert Lombardi said the 40-year-old knew her actions were wrong but the offending fell on the “lower end of the seriousness spectrum”.

Mamona Nazish’s lawyer Robert Lombardi said he was pleased with the result.

Mamona Nazish’s lawyer Robert Lombardi said he was pleased with the result. Credit:Marta Pascual Juanola

He requested Nazish be fined and awarded a spent conviction, arguing a criminal record would reduce the chances of her finding employment as a chef in the future.

Magistrate Joe Randazzo said the case was less serious than other breaches, including that of truck stowaway Asher Van Der Sanden, who sneaked across the border from Victoria without quarantining.

He said Nazish, who emigrated to Australia from Pakistan, was otherwise a person of good character and ruled it was unlikely she would breach quarantine again in the future.

“This is not a case where someone goes to a hotel to enjoy themselves,” he said.

“This is a case where a mother concerned for her children has made an error of judgement.”

However, he rejected Mr Lombardi’s request for a spent conviction, saying the circumstances weren’t extraordinary enough to grant it.

Nazish pleaded guilty to both counts of failing to comply with a direction and was ordered to pay a $5000 fine. No orders for costs were made by the prosecution.

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