More than 30 people fined thousands for Covid lockdown breaches

More than 30 people have been fined over £13,000 for breaching Covid rules during the spring lockdown in the Westcountry.

Paul Greaves www.devonlive.com

Over two dozen men aged between 67 and their early 20s were convicted by Cornwall magistrates for not being at their home addresses during the restrictions.

Half a dozen women aged from 18 were also fined for the same thing.

The defendants breached the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, a piece of legislation put into effect at 1pm on March 26 this year.

People were not allowed to leave their homes except for one form of exercise per day, shopping for basic necessities, travelling to work when necessary, or caring for a vulnerable person.

The people fined by Cornwall Magistrates all had either slept over at another address – some hundreds of miles away from their home – or gathered with more than two other people, which was also forbidden.

The defendants came from London, Coventry, Hertfordshire, as well as locations in Devon and Cornwall, as they were caught at resorts like Polzeath, Rock, Daymer Bay in Cornwall and Sidmouth, Devon.

The magistrates fined them a total of £13,050 with costs with the maximum personal fines of £440 plus costs.

It comes after a number of other court cases linked to Covid rules being broken.

In October it was reported how a Devon lockdown breaker drove 140 miles to pick up a friend in Wales then spat in the face of a concerned citizen who asked her what she was doing.

Rochelle Miah took her Fiat Punto from Paignton to Llantrisant in South Wales on April 4 but abandoned it on a stranger’s front lawn after the clutch broke.

She became aggressive after bemused householder Owen Adams went out to investigate and ended up attacking him and an off-duty police officer who went to his aid.

She spat full into Mr Adams’s face and bit the female officer’s arm, leaving a red mark, before she was detained. She said she panicked because she knew she should not have been so far from home during the most extreme phase of the first lockdown.

In October magistrates in Exeter fined a Topsham man £120 for being outside the place where he was living during the health emergency in April. The offence was in breach in Coronavirus restrictions. Another man appeared at the same court June accused of driving from his native Wolverhampton to visit his girlfriend in Barnstaple.