A New South Wales couple have been fined $20,000 for “playing Russian roulette with the rest of the community” by repeatedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions when they were supposed to be quarantining at a house in Albany. Allison Jane Maroske, 44 and Michael Vincent Toovey, 51, faced Albany Magistrates Court via audio link on Thursday after being charged with failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act. Maroske pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching COVID-19 restrictions while Toovey pleaded guilty to his three charges. The couple were granted access to WA for essential work to deliver equipment to a Narrikup abattoir and conduct inspections of Beaufort River feed store. After completing the delivery they were required to quarantine, but instead they went travelling around the State. They were fined $10,000 each. The offence can attract a maximum penalty of $50,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment. The court was told that on November 4, the couple entered WA with an approved G2G pass that allowed them to deliver “time critical equipment” for lamb and sheep processing at a Narrikup abattoir. The pass only allowed them to travel to Narrikup and to a feed store in Beaufort River. The couple disclosed they had been in NSW when the State was deemed “extreme risk” by the WA Government. Maroske and Toovey nominated a Yakamia property as their place of quarantine. Police prosecutor Sgt Alan Dean told the court after arriving in WA via Eucla, the pair drove to Bremer Bay the next day and spent three nights in the coastal town. On November 6, they went fishing on a boat with a friend, breaching COVID restrictions by not social distancing or wearing face masks, Sgt Dean said. Sgt Dean said on November 9, Maroske and Toovey travelled to Perth, making a stop to a BWS bottle shop in Byford to buy alcohol before arriving in Kardup where they planned to stay two nights with a friend. Maroske did not wear a face mask in the bottle shop. Sgt Dean said the couple did not quarantine, maintain social distancing or wear face masks at the Kardup property. On November 12, they attended the Dog Rock Woolworths in Albany and again did not wear face masks as required. They were interviewed by police on November 14. Defence lawyer Fintan Roberts said the couple should have read the fine print. “It was a misunderstanding as in NSW fishing was allowed under exercise (exemptions),” Mr Roberts said. Speaking to the court, Toovey said they had to pick up freight in Perth and they got tested while they were there. The court was told both offenders had been tested multiple times with tests conducted on November 2, 4, 9, 13 and 19. All tests returned negative results. Magistrate Sandra De Maio said she did not accept the lawyer’s reasons for the repeated breaches. “COVID has been around for some time,” Ms De Maio said. “Isolating doesn’t encapsulate leaving the house and going fishing. They haven’t followed the rules at all and they’ve come from an extreme risk State.” “It’s playing Russian roulette with the rest of the community . . . I don’t care how fine the print is, you’re supposed to read it.” “Going fishing does not in any way marry up with the concept of isolation. “It’s appalling behaviour, Mr Roberts.” However, Mr Roberts said his clients’ intentions were not “malicious or deliberate”. “It’s not blatant disregard, they just forgot,” he said. Mr Roberts asked the court to consider granting a spent conviction for Maroske and Toovey to allow them to travel to Canada for work and to the US to see their children. Prosecution opposed granting a spent conviction, describing the offending as “blatant disregard”. Magistrate De Maio granted the pair spent convictions by the “merest margin” due to the significant fine and unlikelihood of reoffending.