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NSW Tradie pleads guilty to texting his boss that he had Covid to get off work is finally punished


‘Covid sickie’ tradie faces the music: Man, 23, pleads guilty to texting his boss that he’d had a positive test to get off work sparking chaos – as his punishment is handed down

  • Tradie called in sick at 4:15am and claimed he’d tested positive to Covid-19
  • Call caused Newcastle worksites to be closed and 25 workmates into isolation 
  • NSW Health could find no record of tradie’s Covid test and contacted the police 
  • Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, later backtracked and admitted he was not infected
  • He pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday and received a 12 month corrections order










A tradie accused of pretending to have Covid to throw a sickie has been punished for the hoax which threw several construction sites into total chaos. 

Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, pleaded guilty to one charge of conveying false information suggesting a person or property was in danger in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday.

The Illawarra man texed his boss at 4.15am on August 2 claiming he’d tested positive for coronavirus and wouldn’t be coming to work that day. 

His desire for a day off forced his bosses to shut down construction at a Newcastle building site and forced 25 of his workmates into isolation.

Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, (pictured) texted his boss at 4.15am on August 2 falsely claiming he'd tested positive for coronavirus and wouldn't be coming to work

Jamie Pitman-Muir, 23, (pictured) texted his boss at 4.15am on August 2 falsely claiming he’d tested positive for coronavirus and wouldn’t be coming to work

NSW Police confirmed several of the worksites were subjected to entirely unnecessary deep cleaning. 

Nearby lunch venues were also forced to close over the Covid scare with employees urged to get tested and enter isolation. 

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 was charged with conveying false information suggesting a person or property was in danger.

The Illawarra man's 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)

The Illawarra man’s 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)

Mr Pitman-Muir (pictured) pleaded guilty to one charge of conveying false information suggesting a person or property was in danger in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday

Mr Pitman-Muir (pictured) pleaded guilty to one charge of conveying false information suggesting a person or property was in danger in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday

‘There’s a financial cost to it,’ said Acting Superintendent Brad Ainsworth at the time. 

‘There’s a personal cost to their employees. They got the grief that they were laid off for two or three days.’

The tradie fronted Wollongong Local Court on September 14 but asked for the case to be adjourned while he hired representation.  

Mr Pitman-Muir could have faced up to five years in jail but was handed a lesser punishment of a Community Corrections Order in the same court on Tuesday. 

The tradesman must not commit any offence while subject to the 12 month order and will be required to face court if called to do so during the next year. 

The 23-year-old was also ordered to pay a $1500 fine.  

Acting Superintendent Brad Ainsworth (pictured) said there were financial and personal costs involved in the Covid hoax

Acting Superintendent Brad Ainsworth (pictured) said there were financial and personal costs involved in the Covid hoax

The tradie fronted Wollongong Local Court (pictured) on Tuesday and was handed a 12 month corrections order and ordered to pay a $1500 for the Covid hoax

The tradie fronted Wollongong Local Court (pictured) on Tuesday and was handed a 12 month corrections order and ordered to pay a $1500 for the Covid hoax 

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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