Marie Dinou, 41, was fined £660 by North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday the 30th March 2020 after being arrested for breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020.
She was reported to British Transport Police by staff at Newcastle Central train station who spotted her loitering between platforms at 8am on Saturday the 28th March 2020. Police officers approached her and demanded to know her reason for being outside; however, Ms Dinou refused to provide the police with a reasonable excuse for being out and about. As a result, she was arrested for offences under the Coronavirus Act and kept in the cells until the magistrates were able to hear her case on Monday morning.
The law allows police officers to arrest anybody who is outside their home without a reasonable excuse, whether or not they are infected with coronavirus. Reasonable excuses include travelling to and from work where working from home is impossible, shopping for food and taking exercise. There are a variety of other reasonable excuses cited in the legislation.
Being found outside your home without a reasonable excuse is now a criminal offence that is punishable by an unlimited fine. The amount you will be forced to pay depends on your income so the more you earn the more you will have to pay. You will also be ordered to pay the prosecution costs and a surcharge of 10% of the fine imposed on you. If you are convicted you will have a criminal record that you will have to disclose for 12 months from the date of sentence if you apply for any new job; however, the conviction will be disclosed by an enhanced criminal record check forever.
We have an experienced team of litigators and advocates who are ready, able and willing to help you should you find yourself accused of breaking the coronavirus law