A Queensland magistrate has sympathised with a former bikie who incorrectly filled out his Queensland border declaration form, saying the questions are confusing.
Shane Scott Bowden has been fined $750 after pleading guilty to one count of providing false or misleading documents under the Public Health Act.
The 48 year old travelled from Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne on August 31 but provided false information on his border declaration.
He returned to Queensland to recover from infected gunshot wounds after being targeted in a drive-by shooting on July 1.
Bowden remains on a waiting list for an operation to reattach his knee cap to his knee and appeared wearing a leg brace.
Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday was told Bowden was diagnosed with coronavirus in early August while in hospital in Melbourne awaiting surgery but was cleared by Victorian authorities on August 21.
On August 22 he tested positive to a second test.
“That test showed the virus was in his system, but that he was not infectious,” defence solicitor Jason Jacobson told the court.
“The basis of the offences is that the time was false – in that, it had only been seven and not 14 days (since his test) and that is his offence.”
The court was told Bowden was taking significant painkillers when he returned to Queensland on August 31 and was confused by the questions on the declaration form.
Mr Jacobson handed up a copy of the question Bowden filled out incorrectly saying it was a double-barrelled question that Bowden misunderstood.
“He had his clearance (from Victoria) with him to provide to authorities at the airport so it was never going to be the situation where this was not going to be uncovered if anyone had looked even briefly at the documentation.”
Magistrate Joan White accepted the questions on the form were not clearly worded.
“Why don’t they make it two separate questions? Do you currently have COVID19 and have you been a clear case with no COVID 19 within the past 14 days?” Ms White said.
“I can understand how he ended up confused, I find it confusing.”
Mr Jacobson agreed that had the wording been simplified, Bowden would not have been charged.