New Zealand Police v Cooper [2020] NZDC 6922

Published 27 July 2020

Sentencing — failing to comply with COVID-19 level 4 lockdown requirements — global pandemic — public health — public safety — unnecessary travel — breaking bubble — Health Act 1956, s 71A. The defendant appeared for sentence on two charges of failing to comply with COVID-19 level 4 lockdown requirements. On 25 March 2020 the Government declared a state of national emergency and Alert Level 4 requirements to stay home in a "bubble" (meaning people only associate with others living in their residence) were put in place. On 2 April the defendant was stopped by police and educated when he was found in a vehicle undertaking unnecessary travel with people outside of his bubble. He was stopped again on 5 April, and arrested on 11 April for the same breach. He was arrested again on both 12 April and 20 April. He appeared in Court and was released on bail with the condition he abide by Level 3 and 4 requirements. Two days later he again breached the requirements when he was stopped in a vehicle with people outside of his bubble, over 9km from his bail address. The Judge believed the only way to denounce the offending and deter both the defendant and others from offending in the same way was a short period of imprisonment. The defendant was sentenced to 14 days. Judgment Date: 24 April 2020.