A Kaitaia woman has been fined $1000 after repeatedly being caught breaking the Covid-19 lockdown.
Patricia Mills, 29, was also made to pay costs and given a final warning when she appeared before Judge Keith de Ridder in the Kaitaia District Court yesterday, charged with obstructing/hindering a Medical Officer of Health or a person assisting a Medical Officer of Health.
Mills, who is believed to be the first person prosecuted in the Far North for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown measures, was also warned by Judge de Ridder that she had avoided a jail term by a "very narrow margin".
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The maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment or a $4000 fine.
Judge de Ridder, who appeared by audiovisual link while Mills was in the dock, heard that police had found the defendant near a North Rd address in Kaitaia at 6.19am on March 30, in breach of the lockdown.
She was spoken to, police treating the incident as an "educational contact".
She was found again in the same vicinity at 9.13pm on April 3, and was given a formal warning.
About 10.36pm on April 9, she was stopped by police while driving a vehicle in the Kaitaia area. She had a male passenger, who lived at a separate address, with her.
Both were aware that they were breaching the lockdown conditions and gave no good explanation.
Mills was found again, as a passenger in a car on the Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd, about 6.15pm on Saturday.
She was with another female passenger who lived at her address, but the driver lived elsewhere.
According to the police summary of facts, all three were aware that they were breaching the lockdown, as they were travelling for non-essential purposes.
Mills, who was arrested, told police that she was supporting a friend who had suffered a miscarriage the day before.
As at 7pm on Sunday, there had been 3519 breaches of the Civil Defence Emergency Act or the Health Act nationwide. Of those, 364 have resulted in prosecutions, 3064 had been resolved by a warning and there have been 91 youth referrals. There is no regional breakdown at this stage.