Scientist who implanted Opal card in his hand guilty of fare evasion
A bodyhacking scientist who had a NSW Opal card chip surgically implanted in his hand has pleaded guilty to fare evasion because he couldn't produce the travel card when confronted by a Sydney train inspector.
Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, which is his legal name, pleaded guilty in Newtown Local Court on Friday to attempting to travel without a ticket and not showing a ticket for inspection in August 2017, despite having tapped on using his implanted chip.
Mr Meow-Meow, 33, had cut down the Opal chip, had it encased in biocompatible plastic and then implanted it just under the skin on his left hand by a piercing expert in April 2017.
His biohack made headlines around the world in the hours that followed the operation but Transport for NSW warned it would cancel cards that had been tampered with.
Mr Meow-Meow returned from Body Hacking Con in Texas to find his implant's card was not working.
"I was actually at a cyborg convention, which is kind of ironic and hilarious," he said.
"It was all about regulation and cyborg rights."
Mr Meow-Meow said he tapped his hand at a ticket gate but was not let through.
After calling a support line he claims he was given a "boring bureaucratic answer" and informed his card was cancelled.
"This is only a bloody story because they cancelled my card," he said.
"How often do you see the words 'innovation' and 'public transport' in the same sentence in Sydney?"
He had argued the implant represented a useful and innovative step forward, which the rest of the world would closely watch - and questioned the government's punitive stance.
On Friday, Mr Meow-Meow was fined $220 and ordered to pay costs of $1000, but no conviction was recorded by the court.