Two Adelaide women who flew to Perth without an exemption before then sneaking out of hotel quarantine to party, say they’ll return to WA “by force” after being sent home on a taxpayer-funded flight yesterday.
Banchi Techana, 22, and Isata Jalloh, 19, arrived in Perth on Monday but then fled the Novotel Hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning, sparking a Police search for them.
Police caught up with the pair at an apartment in Coolbellup in the south of Perth and they were taken back to quarantine.
Both pleaded guilty to the COVID border breach in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday and were ordered to return home.
The unrepentant pair made obscene gestures to media at Perth Airport and, once back in Adelaide, told waiting media they would return to WA “by force”.
“Sorry for what? Did we commit a crime? Did we kill anyone?” Jalloh told Nine News, then claiming they had “no idea” there were travel restrictions in place and saying they’d return to WA “once coronavirus is over…in two months”.
“We will enter by force,” Jalloh told the Nine News reporter.
In court yesterday, Jalloh received a $5,000 fine and Techana – who also charged with obstructing an officer while in custody – was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.
WA Police said the women arrived in Perth intending to holiday and visit family but were directed to quarantine until return flights could be arranged.
The court heard Techana, a dancer, had moved to Perth for a ‘fresh start’ and also planned to bring her one-year-old daughter to the western state.
Jalloh’s lawyer said the 19-year-old had travelled from Queensland to South Australia without self-isolating and did not understand WA’s border restrictions.
Magistrate Ben White, however, said he believed the women were aware of the border restrictions.
“It’s difficult to think anyone in the current climate could be in the dark about those sorts of things,” the Magistrate said.
“There’s risks to health, there’s risks of this sort of behaviour resulting in further lockdowns.”