Accused border dodgers want taxpayer-funded lawyer

 

A Perth couple accused of breaching Queensland's border restrictions by falsely claiming they had not been in a COVID hotspot are applying for a Queensland Government-funded lawyer.

Lawrence Gordon Petersen, 63, and Edith van Dommelen, 68, were each charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions last month.

Edith van Dommelen, 68, and Lawrence Gordon Petersen, 63, leaving the Richlands Magistrates Court after being charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions. Picture: Tara Croser.
Edith van Dommelen, 68, and Lawrence Gordon Petersen, 63, leaving the Richlands Magistrates Court after being charged with fraud and failing to comply with border directions. Picture: Tara Croser.

Police allege the couple falsely declared they had not travelled to a COVID-19 hotspot when they crossed the Goondiwindi border checkpoint with false declarations on July 27.

The pair were detained in Nanango and placed into mandatory quarantine for 14 days in the South Burnett area.

The pair both appeared before the Richlands Magistrates Court this morning where duty lawyer Daniel Hua said the pair were seeking an adjournment while they waited for their Legal Aid application to be assessed. 

Mr Hua said due to coronavirus-related delays, the Legal Aid application had not yet been processed.

Their case was adjourned to October 13.

Lawrence Gordon Petersen and Edith van Dommelen were pet sitting in Victoria before travelling into Queensland.
Lawrence Gordon Petersen and Edith van Dommelen were pet sitting in Victoria before travelling into Queensland.


Last month, The Courier-Mail revealed the couple travel around the country house sitting and pet sitting, chronicling their adventures online and even posted about the elaborate permits and plans needed to legally travel between states.

It's alleged they travelled from a COVID hotspot in Victoria, through NSW and then entering Queensland where, according to van Dommelen's Facebook page, the pair travelled throughout the southeast including making a trip to a hospital, visiting an elderly relative and eating at a cafe.

Originally published as Accused border dodgers want taxpayer-funded lawyer


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