One of the men charged with breaking strict biosecurity laws by entering Palm Island is showing coronavirus symptoms.
One of the men charged with breaking strict biosecurity laws by entering Palm Island is showing coronavirus symptoms.

Man accused of illegal island trip shows COVID-19 symptoms

One of the men charged with breaking strict biosecurity laws by entering Palm Island is showing coronavirus symptoms.

Jayden Lee Tanner, Mitchell William Bulsey, Mark Wotton and brothers Leon Neil Lenoy and Stacy-Donian Wesley Lenoy were charged with breaching the Biosecurity Act and Chief Health Officer Queensland Direction.

The five men aged between 19 and 46 allegedly drove a boat back to the island without quarantining.

Four of the men arrived in Townsville from Palm Island on the Brett Irwin Water Police boat just after 7pm on Friday, and were marched off one by one by police while wearing face masks.

Townsville Water Police arrest four men who allegedly broke strict biosecurity laws by entering to Palm Island. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Townsville Water Police arrest four men who allegedly broke strict biosecurity laws by entering to Palm Island. Picture: Alix Sweeney

It was heard in Townsville Magistrates Court this morning that Mr Tanner was showing "mild symptoms". Prosecutor Jessica Mills said Mr Tanner would be tested today.

COVID-19 symptoms include coughing, fever, tiredness and in extreme cases difficulty breathing. It is unknown what symptoms Mr Tanner was displaying.

The other four men had been tested and were expected to get their results back on Tuesday.

Mr Tanner and Mr Wotton shared a cell overnight after being denied bail, with the Lenoy brothers also sharing a cell.

Mr Tanner asked Magistrate Richard Lehmann how serious the charge was, to what Mr Lehmann responded: "It's serious."

The cases of Mr Tanner, Mr Wotton and the Lenoy brothers were adjourned to Monday, April 6 while Mr Bulsey's case was adjourned to Wednesday, April 8.

Four men get escorted the Water Police’s Brett Irwin boat after they allegedly broke strict biosecurity laws by entering to Palm Island. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Four men get escorted the Water Police’s Brett Irwin boat after they allegedly broke strict biosecurity laws by entering to Palm Island. Picture: Alix Sweeney

One of the 19-year-old men was also charged with possessing dangerous drugs exceeding schedule 1 (amphetamine), possessing dangerous drugs (cannabis) and two counts of supplying dangerous drugs (methamphetamines and cannabis).

A 30-year-old man was also charged with possession of cannabis.

District Disaster Coordinator Acting Chief Superintendent Glen Pointing said the men allegedly tried to return to the island in their tinnie after venturing to Townsville a few days ago.

Acting Chief Superintendent Pointing said the whole reason for the laws was to protect the community, and alleged the men had completely disregarded the laws.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kieran Keyes said it was important to respect biosecurity rules.

"There have been 21 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the Townsville Hospital and Health Service," he said.

"There are no confirmed cases on Palm Island and there have been no cases in indigenous persons.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in remote communities are at greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19."

Originally published as Man accused of illegal island venture shows COVID-19 symptoms



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