Woman’s dramatic acts to avoid reporters

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Tyler Garth, covers her face from waiting media as she made her first appearance at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 292 charges. Picture: NewsWire / David Crosling

An accused Melbourne woman has bolted from a waiting press pack into traffic after hiding from the cameras under a convenience store counter.

Investigators believe up to 2500 Victorian traffic fines could have been tampered with by the woman, who was an employee of a third party contractor with a government contract.

Tyler Garth is facing 292 charges related to her time as a contractor working for Fines Victoria, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday.

Ms Garth appeared in court for a filing hearing shortly after 10.30am. She faces charges relating to alleged misconduct in public office, perverting the course of justice, obtaining financial advantage by deception, and using identification information to commit an indictable offence.

According to charge sheets, Ms Garth allegedly received payment to manipulate and then reissue traffic infringements to other people, between January 2021 and February 2022.

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Ms Garth alleged used her position to modify traffic infringements. Picture: NewsWire / David Crosling

Police will also allege Ms Garth conducted unauthorised checks of the VicRoads database and disclosed the information to other people.

The 25-year-old, from Greenvale, was interviewed and charged on July 4, after police searched a Greenvale home in late June, finding cash, designer handbags and designer jackets.

Police allegedly seized a range of electronic devices, cash, a dual-blade samurai sword and drugs.

In a statement, Victoria Police say investigations are continuing, including into those who allegedly paid to have their fines nominated to someone else.

“It’s also believed that a number of those who received the penalty notices are connected to organised crime entities including outlaw motorcycle gangs and Middle Eastern Organised Crime groups,” a spokesman said.

Called to give evidence, Detective Senior Constable Rhett Killeen said Ms Garth was working for a third party contractor dealing with fine enforcement in Victoria between February 2021 and July 2023.

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She fled from media outside court, hiding in a shopfront for about 15 minutes. Picture: NewsWire / David Crosling

Ms Garth is accused of falsely nominating in relation to “up to 2500 fines”, Senior Constable Killeen said.

The 292 charges represented multiple charges per individual fine allegedly “written off”, he said, so “charges could potentially range in the thousands” as the investigation continues.

Ms Garth’s employment was terminated in mid-2023 after her employer was contacted by Victoria Police, the court was told.

“These charges only stem from communications with two criminal associates, and only from 2021,” Senior Constable Killeen said in his evidence.

Mobile phones were being extensively analysed, the police officer said.

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Ms Garth covered her face and declined to speak. Picture: NewsWire / David Crosling

Defence lawyer Jacob Slucki questioned the pace at which police laid charges and disclosed the information.

“It sounds like an administration issue. The time has been needed to type the charges into the system,” Mr Slucki said.

“We’ll be drip-fed information.”

Magistrate Tara Hartnett set a committal hearing date for November 7. An application to vary Ms Garth’s bail was adjourned to July 18.

After the hearing, Ms Garth ran from the courthouse, wearing a scarf over her face – a scarf she was not wearing in court – and making contact with a cameraman who blocked her path.

Ms Garth then hid under the counter of a convenience store nearby for about 15 minutes before bolting from the shop across the road toward oncoming traffic, pursued by a television cameraman.