A strip club owner could be fined for breaching COVID-19 social distancing after being found at his club with four other people on his birthday.
Michael Trimble and his friends were found by police at the Showgirls Bar 20 strip club on King Street in Melbourne on Saturday night, but his lawyer said they weren’t having a birthday party.
The club owner’s lawyer Sazz Nasimi said his client was conducting a job interview with another woman when three people arrived uninvited with a birthday cake.
Mr Nasimi said Mr Trimble is well aware of the current health restrictions, including social distancing, and was yet to receive a $1652 fine for the infringement.
‘No one knows how to react to unannounced guests,’ Mr Nasimi told the Herald Sun.
‘By courtesy or foolishness he has allowed these people to stay for 20 minutes when 40 police come through the door.’
‘He is quite traumatised by what happened.’
Another source told the publication if Mr Trimble was fined it would be a ‘hell of a birthday present from the police’.
The incident came just one day before Victoria went into stage four lockdown after declaring a state of emergency due to increasing coronavirus cases.
The lockdown includes a curfew from 8pm to 5am for up to five million Melbourne residents and restrictions on essential activities including exercise and grocery shopping.
Melbourne residents can only exercise for an hour a day and can’t travel more than 5km from home for shopping or exercise.
Meanwhile only one person per household can shop for groceries each day, while recreational sports have been banned altogether.
The rare health-related restriction was prompted by the state recording 671 new cases on Sunday – its second-highest daily total – and seven further deaths.
With a state of disaster declared, police now have additional powers to fine anyone caught breaking curfew or outside a 5km radius of their home.