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Returned traveller who used ladder to escape hotel quarantine to see his girlfriend is jailed

An interstate traveller has been sentenced to six months behind bars after repeatedly using a ladder to sneak out of a quarantine hotel to be with his girlfriend. 

Yusuf Karakaya, 31, flew from Sydney to Western Australia on July 30 after being granted permission to visit his uncle on compassionate grounds, but was ordered to isolate at Perth’s Mercure Hotel for 14 days on arrival.  

On his first night in quarantine, security cameras captured him opening the window of his third-floor hotel room before scaling a roof and making his way to a laneway via a ladder.  

He used the ladder to return to his room later that night and repeated the daring escape over the next three days. 

Karakaya’s plan came unstuck when hotel staff noticed the ladder in the laneway and hired contractors to remove it. 

He was found by police the next day hiding in a cupboard at his girlfriend’s home at Medina, about 25km from the hotel. 

Perth man Yusuf Karakaya, 31, has been jailed after repeatedly using a ladder to escape hotel quarantine (hotel pictured) to be with his girlfriend

Perth man Yusuf Karakaya, 31, has been jailed after repeatedly using a ladder to escape hotel quarantine (hotel pictured) to be with his girlfriend

He told officers he breached quarantine because it was his partner’s birthday and he would be in trouble if he didn’t show up, Perth Magistrates Court heard on Monday, according to ABC News.    

Karakaya admitted his actions were ‘stupid’, but his lawyer told the court his client was confused about quarantine rules. 

Magistrate Tom Hall rejected that argument and said a prison sentence would send a clear message to the community. 

Karakaya was sentenced to six months jail, with five months suspended.    

He is the fifth person Western Australia to be jailed for COVID-19 breaches. 

Magistrate Tom Hall described Karakaya's actions as 'extremely selfish' and noted the escape would have taken some planning ahead (stock picture)

Magistrate Tom Hall described Karakaya’s actions as ‘extremely selfish’ and noted the escape would have taken some planning ahead (stock picture)

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