The Qantas flight attendant and Sydney tradie who sparked new fears coronavirus had spread in Queensland have been revealed, with the woman also said to be an ex-partner of one of the state’s most notorious criminals.
Malynda Gray, 36, who also goes by Mel Waterhouse, has been identified as the woman who moved around in south-east Queensland for a week after experiencing Covid symptoms, The Courier-Mail reported.
Ms Gray felt ill on July 13 but then visited multiple locations in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, including the Dreamworld theme park at Coomera. She returned a positive Covid test on July 22.
She also travelled across the Queensland-NSW border to Ballina on July 14 to collect a 26-year-old man now identified as George Thompson, 26, a Sydney tradesman.
It’s believed she contracted the Indian delta variant of the virus from Mr Thompson.
He had been tested for Covid after being a close contact of a Sydney case but instead of self-isolating for 14 days at home in Sydney while awaiting the result, flew to Ballina where he was picked up by Ms Gray and driven first to the Gold Coast, and then on to Brisbane.
Malynda Gray, aka Mel Waterhouse, 36, the Qantas flight attendant who helped NSW man George Thompson cross into Queensland, pictured with cop killer Ricky Maddison
Mr Thompson was tested on July 12 and received an incorrect negative result from the test. NSW Health discovered his result was positive on July 20.
When contacted Mr Thompson said he had been self-isolating since July 10 but Jeremy McAnulty of NSW Health later said ‘we know this is not true’.
Both have been given large fines for breaching Covid border restrictions.
Mr Thompson was fined $4,000 for failing to comply with a border direction, $4,000 for providing false information and $1,300 for failing to comply with a direction from an emergency officer.
Police said Mr Thompson had visited three shops at Chermside, in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, on July 15 and used false information to check-in.
George Thompson, 26, the Sydney tradie who was meant to be isolating in Sydney after being a close contact of a Covid case but instead travelled to Ballina to meet with Ms Gray on July 14
He was then placed into hotel quarantine in Brisbane where police said he opened the door to his room and verbally abused staff while not wearing a mask.
Mr Thompson allegedly continued to open his door without wearing a face mask after being told he has the Indian delta strain of the virus. He is now in hospital quarantine.
Ms Gray, meanwhile, was fined $4,000 for the trip to Ballina to collect Mr Thompson.
Police said she had not been fully co-operative with contact tracers in detailing her movements. According to ABC News, she had also refused to provide police with Thompson’s name.
On Thursday night Queensland Health added a further location to the list of exposure sites, the Black Swan Coffee at Q Super Centre, Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast, between 1.40pm and 2pm on Friday, July 23.
ABC News reported that police had used CCTV footage from a hotel in Caboolture which the pair visited on July 18 as they tried to identify Mr Thompson.
Neither Ms Gray nor Mr Thompson have been charged and police have not confirmed the nature of their relationship.
In 2017 Ms Gray appeared in news reports when she had claimed to have dated Ricky Maddison, who was responsible for the death of Queensland policeman Brett Forte after a shoot-out in May 2017.
Ms Gray picked up Mr Thompson from Ballina on July 14 and drove him into Queensland, breaching Covid border restrictions and drawing a $4,000 fine
Maddison fired two full magazines at police cars during a pursuit from Toowoomba to the Lockyer Valley, killing Officer Forte. He was later shot dead by police after a 20-hour siege.
Gray was described by media outlets at the time of his death as an ex-girlfriend of Maddison’s.
‘We were together for a while and in that time he was the most caring person I knew,’ she said.
‘I don’t believe the allegations against him from my loving experiences with him. He used to make me laugh all the time. He was an amazing, caring person.’
It was earlier feared Gray had spread the Indian delta strain across Queensland after she crewed on six Qantas Link flights to regional centres including Gladstone, Longreach and Hervey Bay on July 11-12.
Fears were allayed when it became clear Gray had likely contracted Covid from Thompson after she’d worked on the flights.
Queensland announced on Wednesday 19 new cases of overseas acquired Covid cases on board a bulk carrier vessel MV Sanyo.
Another man, an Australian resident who lives in Western Australia, but had travelled to Brisbane, tested positive on July 26. It is believe he had been infectious in the community since July 22.
HOSTIE AND THE TRADIE: HOW IT HAPPENED
July 11-12: Qantas flight attendant Matylda Gray crews on six flights from Brisbane and back, travelling to Longreach, Gladstone and Hervey Bay
July 12: Sydney tradesman George Thompson received negative result on his Covid test from a private pathology clinic, having earlier been identified as a close contact of another case and ordered to self-isolate for 14 days
July 13: Ms Gray experienced Covid symptoms
July 14: Ms Gray drove to Ballina in northern NSW to collect Sydney tradesman George Thompson from the airport. They drove back to Tugun on the Gold Coast, and then to Brisbane on the same day
July 15-17: Numerous locations across Brisbane and the Gold Coast were allegedly visited by the pair either alone or together, including three barbers and a sex shop in Chermside in Brisbane’s northern suburbs
July 18: The pair visited the Sundowner Hotel in Caboolture, near Brisbane, where police later use CCTV to help identify Mr Thompson
July 20: NSW Health were made aware that Mr Thompson’s Covid test result was, in fact, positive
July 22: Ms Gray returned a positive Covid test. He was placed in hospital quarantine in Brisbane
July 26: Mr Thompson was fined $4,000 for failing to comply with a border direction, $4,000 for providing false information and $1,300 for failing to comply with a direction from an emergency officer. Ms Gray was fined $4,000 failing to comply with a border direction