New development in quarantine dodger case

The case of a quarantine dodger who snuck into Western Australia via a truck has returned to court.

A bid to overturn a court decision that slashed the sentence for a quarantine dodger who snuck into Western Australia in a vehicle has been rejected.

Asher Faye Vander Sanden, 28, was initially sentenced to six months and one day in prison after admitting she hid in a car that was being transported by a truck from Victoria, then dodged police and failed to quarantine in August last year.

It was the harshest sentence handed down to anyone in Western Australia for failing to comply with a direction of the Emergency Management Act since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

But Vander Sanden successfully appealed the sentence, arguing it was manifestly excessive and the magistrate failed to consider a suspended term.

West Australian Supreme Court Justice Jenni Hill resentenced Vander Sanden to a six-month community-based order, saying she could not impose a suspended term because Vander Sanden had already served some time behind bars.

Vander Sanden was also ordered to complete 50 hours of community service.

The Director of Public Prosecutions appealed that decision, but on Wednesday the West Australian Court of Appeal rejected the application.

“The appellant has not established that (Justice Jill) was in error,” the judgment read.

“The appeal should therefore be dismissed.”

Vander Sanden had been in Victoria to visit her ill sister.

She had been granted approval to re-enter Western Australia but was told she must quarantine for two weeks in a hotel at her own expense, which prompted her to sneak into the state instead.

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