Wollongong Woolworths COVID case Daniel Kennedy jailed for shopping without mask

Daniel Kennedy. Picture: Facebook
Daniel Kennedy. Picture: Facebook

A self-described Wollongong "eshay lad" who went grocery shopping without a mask while knowingly COVID-positive has copped 21 days' jail time and a blasting from a local magistrate.

Daniel Kennedy was supposed to be in quarantine at his grandmother's Dapto home when police instead spotted him walking into Burelli St, Wollongong Woolworths at 8.38am Saturday, alongside about 100 other shoppers.

The 22-year-old tested positive for COVID on September 8 and had been ordered to self-isolate until September 22.

On Monday defence lawyer Greg Melrose told Wollongong Local Court Kennedy has been "naive about the seriousness of the situation" when he made the decision to go out for food.

But Magistrate Claire Girotto said Kennedy's offending was "quite serious".

"I think he's been pretty selfish about it, myself," she said.

"Who knows how many people have caught COVID from him from his attendance at Woolworths on Saturday?

"Everybody has to wear a mask, COVID or not. Why not? What's so hard about that? He's wearing one now."

Daniel Kennedy. Picture: Facebook

Daniel Kennedy. Picture: Facebook

Appearing via audio-visual link, Kennedy spoke from his cell at this point.

"In my defence, I did have an [article of clothing] that sticks up all the way over my face ... I walked in with it up."

According to a police account of events, Kennedy was bare-faced when confronted by officers. He gave them a fake name and date of birth until they threatened to search him, then said, "OK, I lied, I will give you my name", and provided correct details.

The court heard he had last week missed a police compliance check at the Dapto address he had provided to NSW Health, and was instead living with his mother on Gipps St Wollongong.

Wollongong Woolworths. File picture

Wollongong Woolworths. File picture

Mr Melrose suggested Kennedy may not have posed much of a threat to public health on Saturday as he was nearing the end of his prescribed 14-day isolation period.

"So perhaps he wouldn't have been highly infectious at this point," he said.

But police prosecutor Sgt David Weaver argued otherwise.

"That's not for any of us in the room to say," he said. "We are not medical experts. Medical experts have said you need 14 days, after 14 days you have to have another test."

A scathing Sgt Weaver said Kennedy was lying when he said he hadn't been required to give his current address during the testing process.

He said the offending was made worse by Kennedy's lengthy criminal history, because he was on an intensive corrections order for unrelated prior crimes, and because "if there was an elderly or vulnerable person in that store, it quite possibly could result in death".

"To do it without a mask is utterly disgraceful given what we're going through at the moment," he said.

"Every single person in that store would have now been sent a message [saying] that they would have to get tested. You could only imagine the stress that would have caused some of them, especially the elderly and vulnerable."

Kennedy, who describes himself online as an up-and-coming rapper producing "real Australian hiphop eshay lad s---", was fined $1000 for not wearing a mask.

He was ordered to serve 21 days in prison, from September 18, for failing to comply with a self-isolation direction.

This story 'Selfish' COVID-positive Woolworths shopper jailed first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.