Great Britain

Landowner fined £10,000 after up to 300 guests attend wedding at farm

A landowner was fined £10,000 after up to 300 people attended a wedding at a farm in breach of coronavirus regulations.

Police went to Scarecrow Farm in New Farnley, Leeds, after receiving a complaint that a fight had broken out at the celebration.

Officers arrived shorlty after 6pm on Saturday to find a large number of people gathered around a marquee.

Loud music was playing at the event in the woods and more people were still arriving at the event, according to West Yorkshire Police.

A 49-year-old man was identified as one of the landowners and reported for summons for holding a gathering of more than 30 people, which carries a fine of £10,000. Officers later seized two industrial-sized generators from the site.

The wedding was held just hours after local lockdown restrictions came into force in Leeds. It is now illegal for residents to have guests in their home or garden or to visit someone else's home or garden.

 Leeds District Commander, Chief Superintendent Damien Miller said: “This large-scale event was an absolutely blatant breach of the coronavirus restrictions that are in place to keep our communities safe from this ongoing threat to public health.

“It is even more appalling that it came only the day after widespread media coverage highlighting the increased restrictions in Leeds that have been put in place to address recent rises in the district’s Coronavirus rates.

“Everyone should know by now what is expected of them, and no-one can be in any doubt that large gatherings such as this are completely unacceptable.

“We are maintaining our approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance in the first instance, but, as this latest incident demonstrates, we will not hesitate to make full use of the legislation to take firm action against those who put everyone at risk by flouting the regulations.”

The limit on the number of people allowed at weddings was reduced from 30 to 15 from 28 September.

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