A woman who allegedly coughed on cafe staff when they refused to serve her without a mask has been given an ultimatum if she wants bail.
A woman who allegedly coughed on cafe staff when they refused to serve her without a mask has been given an ultimatum if she wants bail.

Anti-mask Karen’s ‘perverse’ court plea

A Melbourne anti-masker who believes she is a "sovereign citizen" has been told in court she must wear a mask if she wants bail.

A magistrate said it was "somewhat perverse" she would rely on the Bail Act to argue for her release given she does not believe laws apply to her.

Frankston woman Mandy Crerar allegedly coughed at cafe staff after they refused to serve the 58-year-old, who was not wearing a mask, on August 11.

Ms Crerar is also accused of resisting police officers called to the cafe and has been charged with affray and failing to comply with the Chief Health Officer's directions.

During a bail application at Frankston Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Ms Crerar's lawyer Christopher Terry said his client was now prepared to wear a mask in public unless granted an exemption and would supply a $5000 surety.

However magistrate Tim Gattuso asked why he should believe Ms Crerar would wear a mask based on her belief she's a "sovereign citizen" and didn't accept the validity of state and Commonwealth laws.

"It's somewhat perverse given she's relying on the Bail Act for her release," Mr Gattuso told the court.

Mandy Crerar has been dubbed Frankston ‘Karen’ for her alleged outburst. Picture: Supplied
Mandy Crerar has been dubbed Frankston ‘Karen’ for her alleged outburst. Picture: Supplied

Ms Crerar didn't appear during the bail application because she was in remand quarantine, the court heard.

Prison officers told the court she refused to wear a mask, however her lawyer denied this.

"She has expressed a preference to not wear a mask but has not told prison authorities she won't wear a mask," Mr Terry said.

But Mr Gattuso said that without seeing Ms Crerar wearing a mask in court he couldn't be sure she would put one on.

"If she's prepared to wear a mask in the community, I want to see she's prepared to do it in a court hearing," the magistrate said.

In arguing for bail, Mr Terry said delay would be an issue in the case as some material including body-worn camera footage wasn't ready.

The court also heard that Ms Crerar's physically unwell partner, Andrew Lane, would struggle without her.

Mr Lane became upset when he described how Ms Crerar mowed the lawn, cooked, looked after him and was his "financier" since he was out of work due to a back injury.

The bail application will continue on Thursday with Ms Crerar expected to appear via video link.

Originally published as Anti-mask Karen's 'perverse' court plea



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