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Raymond Gary Coombs coughed on shoppers in Christchurch during the coronavirus pandemic is jailed

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raymond gary coombs coughed on shoppers in christchurch during the coronavirus pandemic is jailed

A man who falsely claimed he had COVID-19 and filmed himself coughing on shoppers during the global pandemic has been jailed for driving offences.

Raymond Gary Coombs, 39, went to a Fresh Choice supermarket in Christchurch, New Zealand, on April 4 and deliberately coughed and sneezed on coronavirus-fearing customers during nationwide lockdowns.

He was arrested the following day for offensive behaviour after sharing footage of the stunt on Facebook, which he later deleted.

In the video, he could be seen coughing in the direction of customers and occasionally smiling as if to apologise for doing so. 

Raymond Gary Coombs, 39, filmed himself deliberately coughing on shoppers in a supermarket

Raymond Gary Coombs, 39, filmed himself deliberately coughing on shoppers in a supermarket

He was charged with offensive behaviour

He was charged with offensive behaviour

Raymond Gary Coombs, 39, filmed himself smiling and deliberately coughing on shoppers in a supermarket

Days earlier, the tradesman uploaded a video to Facebook claiming he tested positive to COVID-19, but tests taken after the arrest came back negative.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called Coombs ‘an idiot’ after his prank was made public. 

Judge Raoul Neave described his behaviour in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday as ‘dangerous, selfish and stupid’, Stuff reported.

‘It is the kind of nuisance behaviour that has plagued your career,’ she said. 

Coombs previously wrote on social media that his coughing spree was inspired by ‘many prank pages’ and offered his ‘sincere apologies’ for his behaviour.

Days earlier, Raymond Gary Coombs (pictured) uploaded a video to Facebook claiming he tested positive to COVID-19, but tests taken after the arrest came back negative

Days earlier, Raymond Gary Coombs (pictured) uploaded a video to Facebook claiming he tested positive to COVID-19, but tests taken after the arrest came back negative

Days earlier, Raymond Gary Coombs (pictured) uploaded a video to Facebook claiming he tested positive to COVID-19, but tests taken after the arrest came back negative

‘I’m sorry for this prank that was played,’ he wrote. ‘It never should’ve happened – the alcohol had really taken effect and I have no sensor when I get this messy. 

‘There is nothing else I can say but apologise to everybody and assure you all it will not happen again.’  

Coombs was convicted of drink driving after he was caught in August last year with a blood alcohol reading of 0.239, almost five times the legal limit of 0.05.

He later pleaded guilty to a string of other offences, including careless driving, refusal to provide a blood sample and breaching his release conditions by contacting an ex partner who he was ordered not to communicate with. 

The man had posted the video of him coughing loudly at the Fresh Choice supermarket (pictured) in Christchurch

The man had posted the video of him coughing loudly at the Fresh Choice supermarket (pictured) in Christchurch

The man had posted the video of him coughing loudly at the Fresh Choice supermarket (pictured) in Christchurch

Defence lawyer Kathy Basire argued Coombs endured ‘significant childhood trauma’ and started drinking again on the anniversary of his mother’s death.

While he had undergone alcohol treatment in prison before, Ms Basire told the court he wanted more treatment to curb his binge-drinking.

Judge Neave sentenced him to 16 months jail and fined him $750, but will be able to apply for home detention once a bed at a rehabilitation facility becomes available.

He was also banned from driving for 28 days and will then be able to apply for a zero-alcohol licence.

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Steph Claire Smith forced to defend herself after being slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

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steph claire smith forced to defend herself after being slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith has been forced to defend herself after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old model shared a seemingly innocent picture on Instagram showing her wearing a bikini, along with a blue face covering on Sunday.

In her social media post, she explained how she was ‘incredibly grateful’ to travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after the COVID-19 Stage Four restrictions eased to allow residents to go outside for up to two hours a day for socialising and exercising.

‘It’s the little things… Just getting to sit on the beach for an hour without having to “exercise” as an excuse to be there was heavenly,’ Steph wrote.

But critics quickly took issue with her for wearing a face mask at the beach, while others criticised the state’s ‘tyranny’ coronavirus restrictions.

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith (pictured) has been forced to defend herself against critics after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith (pictured) has been forced to defend herself against critics after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

Fitness entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith (pictured) has been forced to defend herself against critics after she was slammed for wearing a face mask at a beach

In her social media post, she explained how she was 'incredibly grateful' to travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow residents to go outside for up to two hours of socialising and exercising

In her social media post, she explained how she was 'incredibly grateful' to travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow residents to go outside for up to two hours of socialising and exercising

In her social media post, she explained how she was ‘incredibly grateful’ to travel to a beach within her 5km radius from her home after COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow residents to go outside for up to two hours of socialising and exercising

Over the weekend, scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne to enjoy the 26C heat (picture of a woman wearing a face mask while sun baking)

Over the weekend, scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne to enjoy the 26C heat (picture of a woman wearing a face mask while sun baking)

A woman pictured wearing a face mask while sun baking at a Melbourne beach

A woman pictured wearing a face mask while sun baking at a Melbourne beach

Over the weekend, scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne to enjoy the 26C heat (picture left of and right of women wearing a face mask while sun baking)

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state's mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state's mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state’s mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Wearing a face covering is mandatory across Victoria but some online trolls demanded her to ‘take off the mask’ while others questioned her decision to cover up at the beach.

‘Don’t understand the mask out in the open fresh air,’ one wrote, while another added: ‘The mask don’t work, why are you wearing it?’

Another person said: ‘Take off the mask! Just because the government makes something law doesn’t make it right. It’s clearly not about health when you have to wear a mask even when outside or not in a crowded place.’ 

One mother, who doesn’t live in Victoria, criticised the ‘tyranny’ state, saying: ‘What a place to live. 23 hour home detention, mandatory masks anytime you leave the house, one hour exercise within 5km, no church, funerals, weddings, drone surveillance… yikes! No thank you.’ 

Some even accused her of ‘promoting’ the face covering to her 1.5 million followers. 

‘She puts it on Instagram… To promote it… I guess she gets paid from it. It is not really her job to advocate people to think but it is a bit scary that people follow so easy,’ one claimed. 

But Steph has addressed the criticism on her Instagram story, saying she was simply following the state’s rules of wearing a face mask in public.

Under the restrictions, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home or they can be slapped with a $200 fine unless they have a lawful excuse for not wearing a face covering. 

Scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne on Saturday to enjoy the 26C heat

Scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne on Saturday to enjoy the 26C heat

Scores of people flocked to beaches in Melbourne on Saturday to enjoy the 26C heat

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state's mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state's mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Steph has since defended herself, saying she was simply following the state’s mandatory rules of wearing a face mask in public

Despite the backlash, dozens of fans quickly jumped to Steph's defence, with many firing back at the 'ridiculous' comments

Despite the backlash, dozens of fans quickly jumped to Steph's defence, with many firing back at the 'ridiculous' comments

Despite the backlash, dozens of fans quickly jumped to Steph’s defence, with many firing back at the ‘ridiculous’ comments 

‘To all the people questioning me wearing a mask or thinking it’s ridiculous, here in Melbourne we have to wear one anytime we’re outside of the house,’ Steph wrote. 

‘Now I’m not going to argue your points, some are fair and some are not. But no, I am absolutely not getting paid to wear a mask and promote it.

‘I just wanted a photo at the beach… and didn’t want to bend the rules or promote breaking the law by not wearing a mask.’ 

Despite the backlash, dozens of fans quickly jumped to her defence, with many firing back at the ‘ridiculous’ comments.

‘It was a cracking weekend here in Melbourne and the beach was probably pretty packed with other people enjoying some Vitamin D… just because she’s alone in the picture doesn’t mean she was alone on an entire beach,’ one woman wrote.

A second woman said: ‘So stop asking her why she’s wearing a mask at the beach. Unless your living in Melbourne yourself you have no idea what it’s like to live with these restrictions.’ 

What happens if you don’t wear a face covering in Victoria? 

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live, to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

This includes travelling on public transport, or with people outside of your household. You are not required to wear a face covering when driving with someone from your household, or if you are driving for work purposes on your own, for example, if you are a delivery driver. 

Fines will be applied to people who do not wear a face covering unless they have a valid reason for an exemption. 

You must carry a face covering with you unless you have a lawful excuse for not wearing a face covering such as a medical condition or are under the age of 12. You can also use a scarf or bandana instead of a face covering.

Source: Victoria State Government Health and Human Services

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Woman working out in a sports bra says her gym demanded she put a shirt on or leave

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woman working out in a sports bra says her gym demanded she put a shirt on or leave

A Tennessee woman has slammed her gym for promoting sexism and double standards after they told her to cover up the ‘three inches’ of waist she had exposed while exercising.

Julia Maren, who lives in Spring Hill, shared a furious Instagram post on September 8 after gym staff took issue with her sports bra, telling her she would need to put on a shirt to continue her workout.

She went on to complain that men at the gym were exposing much more than she was, decrying the unfairness of women being judged and criticized for what they wear to the gym.  

Called out: Julia Maren, lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, went on an Instagram rant about her local gym

Called out: Julia Maren, lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, went on an Instagram rant about her local gym

Called out: Julia Maren, lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, went on an Instagram rant about her local gym

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33439606 8756013 image a 23 1600697155871

Cover up: She said gym staff took issue with her sports bra, telling her she would need to put on a shirt to continue her workout

Cover up: She said gym staff took issue with her sports bra, telling her she would need to put on a shirt to continue her workout

Cover up: She said gym staff took issue with her sports bra, telling her she would need to put on a shirt to continue her workout

‘Today I was told I’d have to leave the gym if I didn’t put a shirt on, with no explanation,’ she wrote. 

‘My workout was interrupted and I was told to take out my headphones for someone to tell me they could “get me a shirt if I need one” and that if I wanted to continue my workout I had to put one on…. WHAT?! 

‘So you’re telling me that because three inches of my waist is exposed that I’m not welcome in the gym but meanwhile f***ing Chad is over there with a cutout that shows his whole nipple? Got it. 

‘Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know that double standards and sexism still exists.’

Not only did she take issue with what appeared to be a different set of rules for men and women, but she was also upset the responsibility for male thoughts falling on female shoulders. 

‘If the problem is that I will be a distraction, why isn’t the accountability on the one who is distracted?’ she asked. 

She wrote: 'You’re telling me that because three inches of my waist is exposed that I’m not welcome in the gym but ... Chad is over there with a cutout that shows his whole nipple?'

She wrote: 'You’re telling me that because three inches of my waist is exposed that I’m not welcome in the gym but ... Chad is over there with a cutout that shows his whole nipple?'

She wrote: ‘You’re telling me that because three inches of my waist is exposed that I’m not welcome in the gym but … Chad is over there with a cutout that shows his whole nipple?’

'Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know that double standards and sexism still exists,' she wrote

'Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know that double standards and sexism still exists,' she wrote

‘Thank you for taking time out of your day to let me know that double standards and sexism still exists,’ she wrote

‘This is a deep rooted issue because I could EASILY talk about middle school uniform policies, prom dress codes, and evidently gym attire. When will we stop policing women’s bodies and HOLD THE OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR SEXUALIZING THEM.   

‘And WHEN will we start ALLOWING women to feel comfortable enough in the gym to wear whatever the f*** is comfortable to them in an otherwise already uncomfortable environment?!

‘All I’m saying is that I’m showing up in a bro tank with my nipple out next time,’ she added.

She also cited a survey by Fitness Magazine that found that 65 per cent of women avoid the gym over fear of being judged, compared to 36 per cent of men.

‘Do you realize what this statistic suggests? That women are automatically more cautious about what they wear to the gym to avoid criticisms and negative comments,’ she said.

In a series of followup videos, Julia said that ‘a dress code for a gym, no matter what, I think is absolutely ridiculous.’

'If the problem is that I will be a distraction, why isn’t the accountability on the one who is distracted?' she asked

'If the problem is that I will be a distraction, why isn’t the accountability on the one who is distracted?' she asked

‘If the problem is that I will be a distraction, why isn’t the accountability on the one who is distracted?’ she asked

'If you're gonna have a dress code, it should be stated in the contract and not just randomly be told to you one day,' she said in a followup video

'If you're gonna have a dress code, it should be stated in the contract and not just randomly be told to you one day,' she said in a followup video

‘If you’re gonna have a dress code, it should be stated in the contract and not just randomly be told to you one day,’ she said in a followup video

In agreement: Julia has received plenty of support on Instagram

In agreement: Julia has received plenty of support on Instagram

In agreement: Julia has received plenty of support on Instagram

‘We’re all there to better ourselves mentally or physically, or for whatever f***ing reason, it doesn’t actually matter. If you’re in a gym, you’re probably bettering yourself.

‘So we should all be comfortable. This includes men, too. I have not personally seen, ever, a man be asked to leave a gym because of what he was wearing. Obviously I’ve experienced this myself, though.

‘Also,’ she said, ‘if you’re gonna have a dress code, it should be stated in the contract and not just randomly be told to you one day.’

Julia has received plenty of support on Instagram.

‘Absolutely agree with you; this issue does put women off training in the gym and staying healthy, which is such a shame,’ wrote one. ‘I think it’s ridiculous that they called you out for this outfit; absolutely senseless and it looks completely appropriate to me.’

‘I thought this is normal gym attire? Not all girls where t-shirts, crop tops and other things like that seem fine to me.’ said another.

‘That is infuriating!! I’m so mad for you girl, and mad that we have of deal with this sexism,’ wrote a third. 

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Italian couple who spotted each other from neighbouring balconies reveal they are to marry

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italian couple who spotted each other from neighbouring balconies reveal they are to marry

 Love in the time of Coronavirus- The modern day Romeo and Juliet, who met from their balcony, have announced that they are getting married.

The pair have been dubbed Romeo and Juliet as they met during Italy‘s strict lockdown on their balconies in Verona and started a type of long-distance relationship- similarly to Shakespear’s tragic heroes.

 The pair have confirmed their happy ending and said they have already started planning their wedding. 

Paola Agnelli and Michele D'Alpaos met from their balconies during lockdown in Verona, Italy

Paola Agnelli and Michele D'Alpaos met from their balconies during lockdown in Verona, Italy

Paola Agnelli and Michele D’Alpaos met from their balconies during lockdown in Verona, Italy

Paola Agnelli, 40, a lawyer, first spotted Michele D’Alpaos,38 when they were both on their balconies at 6pm for the community balcony concert designed to keep spirits lifted. 

Mr D’Alpaos said to The Times: ‘We are absolute-ly getting married and all we have to do is set the date.

‘We are considering a ceremony on the large roof terrace of my building, which would make sense since we met on our balconies.’

They met during a community balcony concert, when Paola’s violinist sister, Lisa Agnelli, was playing  Queen’s We Are The Champions and Paola was helping with the sound. 

The couple became viral after Mr D'Alpaos erected a huge banner on the top floor of the building with 'Paola' written on it

The couple became viral after Mr D'Alpaos erected a huge banner on the top floor of the building with 'Paola' written on it

The couple became viral after Mr D’Alpaos erected a huge banner on the top floor of the building with ‘Paola’ written on it

Mr D'Alpaos confirmed they are getting married

Mr D'Alpaos confirmed they are getting married

Happy ending for modern Romeo and Juliet

Happy ending for modern Romeo and Juliet

The modern day Romeo and Juliet, have announced that they are getting married

Paola was helping her violinist sister, Lisa Agnelli, (pictured), who was playing Queen's We Are The Champions that day

Paola was helping her violinist sister, Lisa Agnelli, (pictured), who was playing Queen's We Are The Champions that day

Paola was helping her violinist sister, Lisa Agnelli, (pictured), who was playing Queen’s We Are The Champions that day

Mr D’Alpaos tracked down Paola’s Instagram account and the pair started messaging until 3am. 

And as they couldn’t meet due to coronavirus restrictions, their relationship was based on talking on the phone.      

The couple became viral after Mr D’Alpaos erected a huge banner on the top floor of the building with ‘Paola’ written on it, in a bid to express his emotions. 

The pair were able to actually meet for a date in a local park in May. 

The couple, who are both unmarried, have lived opposite each other for most of their lives but have never met properly apart from a chance meeting a year ago.

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