Leanne Isabel Sargeant leaves Nambour Magistrates Court on Monday after pleading guilty to public nuisance.
Leanne Isabel Sargeant leaves Nambour Magistrates Court on Monday after pleading guilty to public nuisance.

Drunk woman’s COVID-19 claims leave RSL staff shaken

Staff and security at a Coast RSL were left "alarmed" and worried for their health after a drunk woman claimed to have COVID-19 and refused to the leave the club.

Leanne Isabel Sargeant, 51, was found bleeding on the ground outside Nambour RSL after security guards blocking her from entering were forced to "palm" her away.

The Maroochydore woman had been kicked out of the club after she repeatedly told staff she was infected with COVID-19, just before 11pm on January 9.

The guards had called police and gave them a description of a "drunk, threatening lady" who had been at the venue for several hours and was refusing to leave, the Nambour Magistrates Court heard.

Police prosecutor Stephen Potter said an intoxicated Sargeant had approached the bartender, duty manager and a floor worker and told them she had COVID-19.

Sgt Potter said she told staff members they should not leave cutlery out for visitors to touch, then grabbed some cutlery and said "just letting you know I have Covid".

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When asked by staff members how she was let in to the venue, Sargeant shrugged her shoulders.

She told them she had Covid another three or four times, the court heard.

The RSL manager told Sargeant if she did not leave she would be forcibly removed.

Sargeant left but quickly returned and tried to force her way past security guards.

Sgt Potter said Sargeant ignored their directions and when she tried to push past she was "palmed away" by the guards, who believed she could be a health risk.

Sargeant fell and was found by police on the ground with a "small amount" of blood on her head.

Paramedics arrived in full personal protection equipment and tried to treat Sargeant, who was uncooperative.

Leanne Isabel Sargeant was kicked out of the Nambour RSL after claiming she had COVID-19 earlier this year.
Leanne Isabel Sargeant was kicked out of the Nambour RSL after claiming she had COVID-19 earlier this year.

"After 20 minutes she was taken to hospital and isolated," Sgt Potter said.

While in the ambulance, the court heard Sargeant told paramedics "I know I have done the wrong thing," and then denied being Covid-positive when she was seen by a doctor.

Sgt Potter said the hospital later told police Sargeant did not fit the criteria to even warrant being tested.

The court heard police told Sargeant her behaviour was alarming and she had caused fear to staff and patrons by claiming to be infected.

Representing herself, Sargeant pleaded guilty on Monday to one charge of public nuisance while in or near a licenced venue.

"I was drunk," she said to magistrate Maxine Baldwin.

"But I didn't say 'I have Covid'.

"I remember what I said."

Sargeant told the court she had been trying to tell the RSL staff she had completed a Covid-safe course at a retirement village she was working in at the time.

Sargeant told the magistrate she had a hard year, with the loss of a family member and several jobs.

She said she had lost her job in Rockhampton earlier in 2020, then moved to Gympie, but lost her job there and moved back to the Sunshine Coast.

"The difficulty is when you go out like this and you're under that sort of stress, you need (to take) a buddy," Ms Baldwin said.

Sargeant was fined $300 and no conviction was recorded against her.


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