Police will not charge the pizza bar worker whose lie led to the statewide COVID lockdown because SA Health has claimed privilege over the initial conversation.
Police will not charge the pizza bar worker whose lie led to the statewide COVID lockdown because SA Health has claimed privilege over the initial conversation.

No charge against man whose lie led to lockdown

The man whose lie led SA into a statewide lockdown will face no charges by SA Police despite a finding that he did mislead contact tracers.

The man, who had contracted COVID-19 while working at Woodville Pizza Bar from a colleague who also worked security at a medi-hotel told SA Health contact tracers he had ordered a pizza from the bar.

Fears that the COVID strain was highly virulent prompted the lockdown.

On Wednesday, Assistant Police Commission Peter Harvey said the man would not be charged because there was not enough evidence.

Because SA Health has claimed "privilege" over that initial conversation between the COVID patient in his 30s and contact tracers, police investigators are unable to ascertain the exact nature of the lie.

"That conversation was central to information provided by SA Health to decision-makers preceding the lockdown," Mr Harvey said.

"The criminal investigation also indicated the male person changed his initial version regarding contact with a pizza box to confirm he had in fact worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar.

"This revised version was initially uncovered as a result of SAPOL investigators working with contact tracers.

"The exact content, context and intent of the initial conversation between contact tracers and the male person cannot be substantiated. This means the facts of the conversation cannot be presented to a court.

"Without that first-hand account of the conversation ... investigators have insufficent evidence to prove an offence.

"SA Health exercised their obligation to claim privilege and not supply information to the investigation."

Despite his, Mr Harvey said the work done by health during the pandemic was "stellar".

"This is just business."

MORE TO COME

 

Originally published as No charge against man whose lie led to lockdown


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