NT woman faces criminal charges after allegedly spitting on bar staff over mask rule

A young woman has been charged after allegedly spitting on staff at a Darwin bar when she was asked to wear a face mask in line with post-lockdown restrictions.

The 22-year-old woman allegedly refused a security guard’s request to don a mask at The Tap on Mitchell Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

As she was being removed, a scuffle ensued and the woman allegedly spat in a hospitality worker’s face.

Police arrested the woman and charged her for spitting on/at the worker, as well as for assault and breaching an emergency declaration.

She has been bailed to appear in Darwin Local Court on July 26.

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker described her actions as “completely and utterly disgusting”.

“These staff’s livelihoods depend on people doing the right thing,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“I want to thank those staff. You should never have been subjected to that behaviour by this individual.”

Face masks remain mandatory in some settings until Friday including venues in Greater Darwin and Alice Springs.

As well as criminal charges, Mr Chalker encouraged Darwin’s network of licensed venues to also take action against the woman.

“I do trust that the industry acts as one and ensures that that individual is banned from those premises for a long period of time,” he said.

“That behaviour is completely and utterly reprehensible and there should be no one in the Northern Territory prepared to defend (it).”

It comes as a worker at Newmont’s Granites mine has been slapped with a huge fine for failing to isolate.

An outbreak at the Tanami Desert mine, about 540km northwest of Alice Springs, sent both Darwin and Alice Springs into their first lockdowns last week and hundreds of workers into isolation.

One miner, a 38-year-old man, was caught some three blocks away from his room on Saturday night and wasn’t wearing a mask.

While he was still on site, NT Police escorted him back to his quarters and issued him a $5056 fine on Sunday morning for two breaches of health directions.

A public health officer, NT police officer and an Australian Defence Force member check in on those in self-isolation.


“He has been flown to Darwin to complete the remainder of his quarantine period under supervision and at his own cost at Howard Springs,” incident controller Shaun Gill said.

On the whole, however, Mr Chalker said community compliance with health orders had been “very good” across the NT.

There were no new COVID-19 cases reported in the NT on Sunday as more close contacts in isolation returned negative test results.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said 26 close contacts of an infected miner who spent seven hours at Alice Springs airport on June 25 waiting for a flight to Adelaide had now tested negative, with another 11 results still pending.

“That’s a good sign for Alice,” he said, adding wastewater testing in the area had also come back negative.

In Darwin, only 12 test results remain outstanding from close contacts at exposure sites – five from the Buff Club and seven from the Corner Store Friendly Grocer.

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