Tent on the beach at sunset, hammock hanging on trees, no people
Tent on the beach at sunset, hammock hanging on trees, no people

Illegal campers busted at Shoalwater Bay

One of many people caught illegally camping at the Shoalwater Bay military training area during Covid restrictions, has faced court.

Nathan William Michael Groves, 19, pleaded guilty in Yeppoon Magistrates Court last Thursday to trespassing on Commonwealth land.

The court heard that in May last year, police were conducting patrols of Byfield National Park when they came across numerous people illegally camping.

There were signs in the area to warn people that it was Commonwealth land and that trespassers would be prosecuted.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Janes said police saw 14 vehicles parked at the northern end of Five Rocks beach and numerous people were camping illegally inside the military training area.

Sgt Janes said Groves told police that he did not see the signage.

Sgt Janes added that Groves was remorseful for the offending and had co-operated with police.

The court was told that Groves, an apprentice electrician, had already been fined over the incident - $1134 for failing to comply with Covid regulations.

Magistrate Philippa Beckinsale took that into consideration and placed Groves, who had no criminal history, on a three-month good behaviour order with a $300 recognisance.

No conviction was recorded.

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