South East Queensland cafe owner arrested after she and her staff allegedly refused police instructions to wear masks, was unable to attend her hearing in person because she did not want to put on a mask .
- Sarah Parsons was unable to attend court in person after refusing to wear a mask
- Cafe owner accused of allegedly refusing to wear a mask, saying she had a medical exemption
- Magistrate says she must wear a mask for her next appearance or an arrest warrant will be issued against her arrest
Sarah Parsons, 38, was scheduled to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates’ Court this morning for a ticket, but appeared by phone after security refused to let her into the courthouse.
Ms Parsons told the court it was not her decision not to attend in person.
Magistrate Haydn Sjernqvist adjourned the case to September 13 and told the court her reluctance to wear a mask would not be accepted as an excuse.
“You won’t get anything on the 13th if you don’t go up to the first floor and talk to the prosecutor.
“And that may require you to wear a mask like everyone else, when entering the building. Do you understand?
Ms Parsons told the court she was seeking legal advice and would ask the prosecution for the full record of evidence, including “copies of all camera footage worn on the body,” as well as additional time for them. examine.
How the owner of the cafe ended up in court
Police said officers went to the New Earth Cafe in Coolum three times to ask Ms Parsons and her staff to wear masks.
It was alleged that Ninderry’s wife refused every request and became verbally abusive towards the officers.
In a video released shortly after her arrest, Ms Parsons said she and all staff at her cafe had health issues and were exempt from wearing masks.
The business owner was fined $ 1,378 at the time for failing to comply with a COVID-19 health directive and a 34-year-old staff member was fined $ 206 for not wearing a mask.
In footage released by Queensland Police, officers at the cafe can be heard saying the compliance visits were prompted by public complaints.
“I understand you all have exemptions here?” The officer can be heard saying.
The officer can also be heard saying on the video that “under the Health Act, staff are not allowed to serve customers unless they wear a mask.”
The maximum penalty for summoning directives is $ 5,514.
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