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Man who faked positive Covid-19 tests to dodge drug court jailed

A man who faked positive Covid-19 test results for months to avoid attendance at the Drug Treatment Court was yesterday jailed for four months after he admitted the offence.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Le-Jai Tucker, 22, was sent to Drug Treatment Court in January 2021, but left last December to quarantine for two weeks after it was found he was a close contact of someone who was infected with the coronavirus.

However, Tucker had avoided infection but altered his Day 14 test result to make it appear he was positive and submitted it to the drug court on January 4 this year.

He continued to submit fake positive results until March 22.

But a member of the Department of Court Services grew suspicious and contacted the Ministry of Health.

The court official was told that Tucker had never tested positive for Covid-19.

Court Services contacted Tucker and he admitted lying.

He was arrested on March 27 and kicked out of the drug treatment court programme two days later.

Tucker, from Warwick, told the court that he lied to the court because he wanted more time to work and save money.

He added that going to drug treatment court made him feel “depressed” – but admitted that was “not an excuse”.

Tucker told the court: “I’m very remorseful, but I’m going through a lot.”

He added: “What I did was wrong, but that doesn’t speak to my character.

“I have a lot of things I want to do and none of them have to do with getting in trouble.”

Tucker joined Drug Treatment Court after he admitted the theft of a phone and a credit card from Mitzi Clarke, his former landlady.

The court heard yesterday that he used the credit card 107 times and spent almost $2,880.

Ms Clarke said in a victim impact statement that she gave Tucker access to her apartment so he could help her with her sick husband.

She added that the incident had made her “question myself and my mind” and that Tucker had refused to pay back the stolen cash.

Tucker insisted in court that he had started to pay Ms Clarke back.

Lisa Trott, for the prosecution, said that Tucker used the treatment programme as a “crutch” and “undermined the integrity of the court and disadvantaged those who want to get help”.

She asked that Tucker should be sentenced to four months in jail on the fake documents charge and two months for the theft offences.

Magistrate Maxanne Anderson sentenced Tucker to four months in jail on the false documents charge and to one month for the credit card theft, to run concurrently.

She also sentenced him to time served for the theft of the phone.

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