Two young women who narrowly escaped prison after moving from Adelaide to Perth without an exemption before going on to escape hotel quarantine vowed to return to Western Australia defiantly.
Isata Jalloh, 19, and Banchi Techana, 22, made lewd gestures to reporters and staff at Nine News Perth as they were escorted from hotel quarantine to fly back to South Australia Thursday night.
Yet Jelloh, who has been under police surveillance at the hotel since Thursday’s teary court appearance, told reporter Lucy McLeod of Nine News Perth she intended to return to WA, “by force” if needed.
On August 17, the pair arrived at Perth Airport and told officials that they wanted to live in WA and visit friends, given the border restrictions that have been in effect since April.
They were accompanied to quarantine at the Novotel Hotel on Murray Street, before they could arrange a return flight to Adelaide.
But about 1.30am they fled the hotel through the emergency stairwell and defied instructions from security guards to return to their rooms, instead catching a taxi to an aspiring musician named Siri Kidd’s flat in Coolbellup.
Police found the women at the unit about 8.30am on Tuesday after officers traced Jalloh’s cell phone out of a call earlier in the morning, during which she laughed and hung up on a police officer asking where she was.
The two women pleaded guilty and were sentenced to two days in jail in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Jalloh received a fine of $5000, while Techana, who was also charged with obstructing public officials while at the Perth Watch House, received an eight-month, two-week, 12-month prison sentence.