'Friendly backpacker’ fined $1300 for morning walk
"SHE was in her pyjamas and slippers and obviously couldn't run very fast when police arrived."
That's what the lawyer of a Gatton backpacker said who found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It was supposed to be a peaceful morning walk but the English backpacker found herself tangled in drama when she wandered through a Gatton paddock.
Across from her accommodation at the Gatton Caravan Park, the paddock was private property.
Gatton Magistrates Court heard Ellie Charlotte Green, 22, had been wearing pyjamas and slippers when she was approached by police at 8.30am on April 19.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Alister Windsor said police had been alerted to a group of people in a paddock who were playing music and drinking alcohol.
"About 15 people were sighted upon police attendance and the defendant was spoken to," Sgt Windsor said.
Duty lawyer James Ryan said Green had not been a part of the group but had been walking past when police arrived on scene.
"She was going for a morning walk … It was relatively innocent," Mr Ryan said.
"She said there was no signage but unfortunately it's the practice of all the other backpackers frequenting the paddock - the backpackers had been making a practice of having a few beers in the paddock but she herself hadn't."
Green told Magistrate Ryan she had walked across the paddock "every single morning".
"I've gone over and said hi and the police car has come flying over and I had been there five seconds and then I got caught," Green said.
She pleaded guilty to trespass.
The court heard police had served Green a $1300 fine for breaching coronavirus regulations that morning.
Mr Ryan told Magistrate Kay Ryan that backpackers kept the agricultural industry afloat.
"It would probably collapse without our friendly backpackers," he said.
Ms Ryan agreed.
"Yes, I know," she said.
"I understand what's happened - by the sounds of things, you were not part of this group but going for a walk."
She was served a $300 three-month good behaviour bond.
"You do not have to pay the $300, that's just if you were to break the law in the next three months."
No conviction was recorded.
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