Tradie who allegedly texted his boss at 4am claiming he had Covid to avoid work before madly backpedalling when all his colleagues were forced into isolation faces FIVE years behind bars
- Tradie allegedly called in sick before dawn claiming he’d tested Covid positive
- The call caused Newcastle worksites to be closed and workmates into isolation
- Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, later allegedly backtracked and said he’d tested negative
- But NSW Health found no trace of him being tested at all and called in police
A tradie accused of pretending he had Covid to throw a sickie is facing up to five years in jail after the alleged hoax caused chaos and closed down several worksites.
Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, is accused of texting his boss at 4.15am on August 2 claiming he’d tested positive for the disease and wouldn’t be at work.
But the Illawarra man’s alleged bid for a day off caused his bosses to shut down construction at a Newcastle building site, forcing 25 workmates into isolation.
Nearby lunch venues were also forced to close over the scare and employees there told to get tested and go into isolation.
Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, (pictured) allegedly texted his boss at 4.15am on August 2 falsely claiming he’d tested positive for the disease and wouldn’t be at work
Later that day, Mr Pitman-Muir is said to have backtracked on the lie and texted his boss back to say he’d now tested negative.
But NSW Health officials revealed they had no record of the man being tested at all and called in police.
‘His co-workers were stood down and self-isolated while awaiting their test results, and several locations near his place of employment required deep cleaning,’ NSW Police said at the time.
After police announced they were investigating, the man handed himself in and he was charged with conveying false information suggesting a person or property was in danger.
The Illawarra man’s alleged bid for a day off caused his bosses to shut down construction at a Newcastle building site and forced 25 workmates into isolation. (Pictured, workers at a Sydney worksite)
Acting Superintendent Brad Ainsworth (pictured) said there were financial and personal costs involved in the alleged hoax
‘There’s a financial cost to it,’ said Acting Superintendent Brad Ainsworth. ‘There’s a personal cost to their employees.
‘They got the grief that they were laid off for two or three days.’
Mr Pitman-Muir faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
The tradie fronted Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday but asked for the case to be adjourned while he hired a lawyer. He will return to court later this month.
The tradie fronted Wollongong Local Court (pictured) on Tuesday but asked for the case to be adjourned while he hired a lawyer. He will return to court later this month.