Qld quarantine escapee refused bail

A woman accused of forcing a door to break out of hotel quarantine in Queensland and going on the run for days has been refused bail.

© Samantha Manchee/AAP PHOTOS A woman accused of breaking out of hotel quarantine in Queensland has been refused bail.

Jessica Lee Heath, 24, applied for bail in Southport Magistrates Court by videolink on Tuesday.

Heath was placed in quarantine after allegedly attempting to enter Queensland on July 31 after travelling from a COVID-19 hotspot in NSW.

She allegedly broke out of the Gold Coast hotel quarantine room and travelled to Caboolture, north of Brisbane.

Heath was found four days later in Caboolture and charged with failing to comply with health orders, wilful damage and stealing, and separate bail breach offences.

She has since been in custody on remand.

Police lodged on Tuesday a formal objection to bail, based on Heath’s history.

Legal aid lawyer James Grehan’s argument Heath had been in isolation and spent eight days in the Brisbane City Watchhouse was rejected by the magistrate. 

“She could have spent it at the Sofitel where it would have been much more comfortable that the Brisbane City Watchhouse,” magistrate Kay Philipson said. 

“The applicant kicked her way out of the very comfortable hotel – she smashed the door in and escaped.

“She does not seem to want to comply with any conditions if I grant her bail. 

“I think there is an unreasonable risk.”

Ms Philipson said Heath’s record was concerning. 

“How can I be satisfied that she is going to turn up? She does not seem to want to turn up for anything,” she told the court.

“I accept she has been in custody for some period of time, but she is not doing herself any favours.

“I am not confident she is going to turn up, no matter what conditions I put in place. Bail is refused.”

Heath’s matters were adjourned to Southport Magistrates Court on September 30. 

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