Derbyshire residents made to pay out thousands of pounds for low-level Covid-19 breaches

Derbyshire residents have been made to pay out thousands of pounds for low-level Derbyshire Covid-19 breaches.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:58 pm

In the latest batch of closed-doors Derbyshire court hearings into Covid-19 breaches, 17 people had their initial unpaid £200 fines increased by nearly nine times that figure, to £1,760.With court costs and victim surcharges these payouts rose to more than £2,000 – 10 times the initial fine.

These fines, at the latest batch of rapid-fire private hearings on June 30, largely saw defendants charged with Covid breaches such as having a couple of friends at their property during lockdown.

In the previous batch of Covid breach hearings, on June 9, unpaid low level fines were increased from £200 to either £220 or £440. This includes incidents which happened on the same day as those heard in the most recent hearings and for identical breaches.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In the latest batch of closed-doors Derbyshire court hearings into Covid-19 breaches, 17 people had their initial unpaid £200 fines increased by nearly nine times that figure, to £1,760.

Payouts totalling more than £2,000 had previously been reserved for high-level breaches, including two Derby students who hosted lockdown parties featuring 50+ and 90+ guests respectively.

Likewise, more serious breaches involving mid-size house parties during lockdown, dealt with in early June, saw defendants who had fewer people in their homes given far smaller fines than those whose cases were heard in late June.

In the latest Single Justice Procedure hearings, 29 cases were heard in private at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court in just three hours, handing out nearly £36,000 in overall charges to defendants who had not paid their initial £200 fines.

The vast majority of defendants (26) did not issue a plea. National research has found that defendants often have no knowledge of the hearings at which their fines were progressed to.

Two defendants submitted guilty pleas and they received lower fines than their counterparts as a result, however, they were still made to pay more than defendants charged with similar breaches in previous hearings, who did not submit a plea at all.

Their cases were heard just weeks apart and the original incidents were separated by mere days – and in one case within a day.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Magistrates consider a range of factors in reaching a decision – including the seriousness of the offence, a defendant’s explanation and plea, their financial circumstances, previous convictions and the prosecution’s evidence.

“The Single Justice Procedure is only used in non-imprisonable cases and all defendants can request an open hearing.”

At one of the June 9 hearings, Adele Green, aged 31, of Hurst Rise, Matlock; Shona Jordan, aged 46, of Mettesford, Matlock; and Paul Ryder, of Monyash Close, Staveley, were all made to pay out £574 each – totalling £1,722 between the trio.

This was for an illegal gathering totalling four people at a friend’s house in Lumsdale Crescent, Matlock on November 28.

However, on June 30, Kevin Dunn, aged 36, of Hillman Drive, Inkersall, Chesterfield, was told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) for having three drunken friends (four people total) round at his property on December 16 against Covid regulations.

During the same set of hearings, Dunn was also told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) for, again, having three friends around his property on December 20 – four days later.

At the June 9 hearings, Saffron Meads, aged 23, of Milton Street, Cotmanhay, was made to pay out total costs of £344 (£220 fine, £90 court costs and £34 victim surcharge) for hosting 20 people at her house for an illegal New Year’s Eve party.

Meanwhile, in the June 30 hearings, Linda Cass, aged 49 of Wheatley Avenue, Somercotes, and Roxanne Cass, aged 30, of Smedley Avenue, Somercotes, were made to pay out £2,021 each (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) for hosting a New Year’s Eve party involving up to 10 people, including relatives, neighbours and their children at Smedley Avenue in Somercotes.

In the June 9 hearings, Atif Ali, aged 37, of Calgary Avenue, Blackburn, was made to pay out £344 (£220 fine, £90 court costs and £34 victim surcharge) for travelling 100 miles from Blackburn to Derby during lockdown – caught by police in a city centre takeaway on November 22.

In comparison, Nazaquat Hussain, aged 36, of Park Road, Oldham, was made to pay out £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a June 30 hearing for travelling 55 miles from his Greater Manchester property to Sudbury – en-route to look at a vehicle he was going to buy in Buxton on January 13.

Oisin Atiko, aged 29, of Ifield Road, Chelsea, was ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) for travelling from 190 miles from London to the Snake Pass summit in Glossop to go camping with a friend on New Year’s Eve.

Tina Dicken, aged 64, of Goseley Avenue, Hartshorne, after pleading guilty, was ordered to pay £891 (£733 fine, £85 court costs and £73 victim surcharge) at a hearing on June 30, after being found by police with seven adults and five children at her property on January 1. This incident occurred just under 24 hours after the incident in which Meads was made to pay out £344 after having up to 20 people at her property and not entering a plea.

On June 30, Erika Gaborova, aged 46, of Rutland Street, Normanton, after pleading guilty, was ordered to pay costs of £439 (£320 fine, £85 court costs and £34 victim surcharge) at a June 30 hearing for having up to 10 people at her Derby property on January 10. This is nine days after the Meads incident involving double the number of illegal guests and no plea.

Christopher Goodman, aged 22, of Hilltop Road, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, was ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) on June 30 after being caught out-of-area at the former High Tor Colour Works in Dale Road, near Matlock on January 10. He told police he and his friend were YouTubers who make videos of old industrial sites.

Raymond Gouldhawk, aged 39, of Pudding Plate Close, Ilkeston, was ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) on June 30 after allowing his 14-year-old son to have a friend round just before midnight on January 2, playing loud music. He did not care about breaching Covid restrictions, did not accept he had done anything wrong and would not “listen to reason”, say police. This is a similar level of fine levied at Derby students who hosted parties involving more than 50 and 90 people respectively – for one 14-year-old boy being at the Ilkeston property who did not live there.

Tomas Harvan, aged 19, of Thomas Street, Halifax, was ordered to pay costs of £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) on June 30 for travelling 80 miles from West Yorkshire to Derby on January 1 to see an ill family member. Harvan was caught by police after being involved in a “serious offence” on Alfreton Road with four other people from different households in his Skoda Octavia.

Graham Heath, aged 39, of Circular Road, Staveley, was stopped by police at 2am in Hollingwood on January 27 with two men from different households in his van and while carrying out a non-essential journey.

Heath would not say where he had been or why he was out at that time of night, say police.

He has been ordered to pay £1,761 (£1,100 fine, £110 victim surcharge and £85 court costs) following a Derby court hearing on June 30. The difference in fees appears to be due to Heath’s financial means.

Keiran Ravenhill, aged 28, of Chapel Street, Marlpool, was found by police on January 8 with six people in his lounge “drinking lager and playing darts” but complied with officers. At Derby court hearing on June 9 he was ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees).

In comparison, a June 9 court hearing saw Paulina Barwinska, aged 30, of Crewe Street in Normanton, ordered to pay £344 (£220 fine, £90 court costs and £34 victim surcharge) after dismissing the police. She is said to have told officers she did not care about Covid or regulations, after being caught hosting a booze-filled party for her child, with up to five adults present.

Guy Redfern, aged 44, of Back Lane, Stoke, was caught driving without insurance on Walbrook Road, Derby from Stoke on a visit to see a “lady friend” during Tier 4 Covid restrictions on January 9. At the Derby court hearing on June 30 he was ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees).

By contrast, in the June 9 court hearings, Amy Brough, aged 21, of Crosby Street, Derby, was told to pay £344 for visiting a man in Long Eaton during restrictions.

Glenda Rogers, aged 63, of Portland Street, Pear Tree, was caught by police on January 8 at a property in Chester Road, Chester Green, where she did not live. Rogers told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a court hearing on June 30.

At the June 9 hearings, numerous defendants were handed far lower charges for having many more people at their property or being at a property other than their own with larger numbers of guests.

Lauren Rutter, aged 19, of Majestic Place, Swadlincote, was told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a June 30 hearing for hosting an illegal New Year’s Eve Party involving an unstated number of people, with music blaring.

Police visited the property three times between 8.30pm and 11.47pm trying to speak to Rutter but nobody inside the home would answer the door, resulting in three Covid breach fines for the home-owner. One guest, at 13 minutes until the new year, shouted “get a warrant” at police.

Kelly Swain, aged 33, of Market Street, Heanor, was caught by police hosting an illegal New Year’s Eve party involving up to 10 people in a flat. Some of the guests, police say, thought there was no breach because they all lived in the same flat complex. Swain was told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a hearing on June 30.

Larissa Teck, aged 18, of Boulton Lane in Alvaston, was told to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a June 30 hearing after police were called to her address on November 10 after reports that someone had allegedly been stabbed, alongside an illegal gathering.

David Walsh, aged 44, of Oxford Court, Ripley, was caught by police at an illegal New Year’s Eve party involving 10 guests, two of which were “hiding” in the bedroom, say officers. Walsh was issued a fine in the final hour of 2020, which he has not paid, resulting in him being ordered to pay £2,021 (£1,760 fine, £176 victim surcharge and £85 for court fees) at a hearing on June 30.