Friend slams £10,000 fine after 400 people gather for tribute in Derbyshire

A friend of a man – who was fined £10,000 under coronavirus legislation for organising a gathering of hundreds of people in a Derbyshire town in memory of a young dad who died in a crash – has criticised the punishment.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 4:19 pm

Tyrone Forde, 22, lost his life in the crash on the M1 earlier this month.

According to Derbyshire Constabulary, a 23-year-old man, who is from Shirebrook, placed messages on social media encouraging people to go to an event following Tyrone’s death.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tyrone Forde died in a horrific crash on the M1.

More than 400 people attended the gathering on land near Shirebrook Leisure Centre at around 8pm on April 5.

On Tuesday, the force said the event organiser was issued with a £10,000 fine under coronavirus legislation.

Ebony Cheeseman was friends with Tyrone, who used to live in Shirebrook.

She told the Derbyshire Times: “It’s a really close friend who was issued the fine.

“I think it’s a joke.

“We did something nice for a close friend of ours who passed – and this is what happens.”

Referring to the event, a spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Large numbers of fireworks were set off by the group and the force received dozens of calls from local people.

“Officers attended and dispersed the group.

“Following enquiries, including numerous videos found of the gathering on social media, the man who has received the ticket was identified as the organiser,” they added.

Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett, who leads policing in the north of the county, said: “Over the last year thousands of people have lost loved ones and have been unable to grieve in the way they would normally be able to.

“We understand how hard this and my heart goes out to all those who find themselves in a situation that means they are unable to say goodbye.

“However, coronavirus still remains a very real risk to public health with restrictions on certain gatherings still in place and we will continue to use enforcement measures where necessary to protect the public.”

In England, outdoor gatherings – including in gardens – are allowed with up to six people.

For more information about the coronavirus restrictions still in place, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do.

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times editor

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription at www.localsubsplus.co.uk or buying a paper.