IMAGE: Man, 52, who “ broke the hotel quarantine by hacking through a fence to buy a four-bottle pack of beer and a bottle of wine ”
- Martin James McVicar, 52, is said to have left hotel quarantine to buy alcohol
- He is said to have left the Distinction Hotel in northern New Zealand on Thursday evening
- Hamilton’s court heard that he bought beer and wine from a local bottle shop
- McVicar was arrested and quarantined at Spring Hill Corrections Facility
A man in coronavirus isolation has been arrested after allegedly leaving his quarantine hotel to visit a bottle shop.
Martin James McVicar, 52, is said to have left the Distinction Hotel in Hamilton, New Zealand’s North Island to buy alcohol on Thursday night.
McVicar, who arrived in New Zealand from Sydney on July 1, reportedly cut a fence to temporarily escape the facility.
Martin James McVicar (photo), 52, appeared in Hamilton District Court on Friday, accused of breaking out of his quarantine hotel to visit a nearby liquor store on Thursday evening
McVicar reportedly left the Distinction Hotel (pictured) in Hamilton, New Zealand’s North Island, through a fire escape and cutting fences on a six-foot fence
McVicar is said to have visited the Brews Te Rapa liquor store, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel, on busy Te Rapa Road, Stuff reported.
Brews Te Rapa store manager, Manpreet Singh, said the man visited his store and bought a pack of beer and a bottle of wine.
Singh was shocked when police arrived at the store on Friday morning and told him that the man had fled from a quarantine facility.
“I don’t know why he left there,” said Mr. Singh.
The bottle shop has since been cleaned and vacated by health officials.
McVicar is said to have returned to the hotel on Thursday evening between 6:30 PM and 7 PM.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins told reporters on Friday, “I understand that this person left an emergency exit and was cut through a fence.”
Mr. Hipkins said he had been told a police officer was present, but the hotel should not be blamed for McVicar’s alleged escape.
“These are not maximum security prisons. These are hotels, “said Mr. Hipkins.
McVicar reportedly visited the Brews Te Rapa bottle shop (pictured) and bought a pack of beer and a bottle of wine before returning to the hotel between 6:30 pm and 7pm
Hipkins said that no one else had been in the liquor store and that the man returned a negative coronavirus test on Friday morning.
McVicar has been taken to court for deliberately failing to comply with an order under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.
He also received additional charges for deliberately damaging a 52-inch television belonging to the Distinction Hotel.
McVicar appeared in court through an audio-video connection from a cell and was represented by Russell Nye-Wood.
Mr. Nye-Wood requested a new judgment without a plea and suggested that McVicar be returned to the quarantine facility to quarantine for another four days.
He said there could be a bail condition that McVicar is not found outside the property where he was quarantined.
The Queenstown man appeared before Hamilton District Court on Friday afternoon and was quarantined in Spring Hill prison.
The New Zealand police were against any request for bail.
Community magistrate Robyn Paterson quarantined McVicar back in remand at Spring Hill Corrections Facility until his next court appearance on July 15.
McVicar did not file a plea and was remanded to be quarantined at Spring Hill Corrections Facility (pictured) until his next court appearance on July 15