Tradie charged with fraud after alleged fake Covid sickie backfires

·Associate News Editor
·1-min read

A NSW tradie will face court next month after he allegedly lied about testing positive for Covid-19 to avoid going to work.

Police say the 23-year-old from Wollongong texted his employer at 4.15am on Monday saying he had tested positive for the virus and was unable to go to work in Newcastle.

The alleged lie forced his employer to shut down several locations near the construction site he was working for deep cleaning while his co-workers were stood down while they awaited Covid test results.

The tradie's alleged lie sent his colleagues into isolation. Source: Getty, file.
The tradie's alleged lie sent his colleagues into isolation. Source: Getty, file.

However later that day, the man allegedly sent another text to his employer advising his second test returned a negative result.

Enquiries into the matter revealed he never tested positive in the first place and the matter was referred to police.

The man was arrested on Thursday and charged with conveying false information putting a person or property in danger.

He was granted bail and is due to appear at Wollongong Local Court on September 14.

The construction industry was given the green light to restart on July 31 in Sydney and surrounding areas after it was shut down temporarily in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

However projects and workers in the eight LGAs of concern in the city's west have been unable to recommence.

On Thursday, Newcastle and the Hunter region was plunged into a week-long lockdown after the emergence of five cases.

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