United Kingdom

Woman, 41, is fined £660 for flouting coronavirus lockdown rules

A woman has been arrested on the railways and ordered to pay £660 for breaching the Government's coronavirus lockdown measures.

Marie Dinou, 41, from York, was arrested by a British Transport Police (BTP) officer after she was found 'loitering between platforms' at Newcastle Central station on Saturday.

Dinou, who refused to explain to police why she was travelling, was charged with failing to comply with requirements imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Marie Dinou, 41, from York, was seen 'loitering between platforms' at Newcastle Central station and charged with failing to comply with requirements imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020. Pictured: General view of Newcastle's Central Station

On Monday, the 41-year-old appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court and was fined £660 for failing to comply with the requirements imposed by the Government. 

She was also ordered to pay a £66 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.

Following Dinou's arrest, the BTP said enforcement action like this was always 'a last resort' and officers would always try to engage with passengers and convince them of the need to follow the advice before taking matters further.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said: 'Enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest.

'In this case, officers tried their upmost best to engage with Dinou. I can assure you we would much rather not have to take such action.'

'We strongly urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.'  

The arrest comes after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the immediate closure of all non-essential shops and announced that gatherings of more than two people would be banned in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under the strict measures, events such as weddings and baptisms will have to be stopped and funerals can only take place with a small number of immediate family members.

 The 41-year-old was unable to explain to police why she was travelling and was arrested. Pictured: Police officers walk through Newcastle Central Station amid the coronavirus lockdown

Those wishing to leave their homes can only do so in order to collect food, medical supplies and essential items or if travel to work is 'absolutely' unavoidable.   

In his address to the country last week Mr Johnson said: 'Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won't be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses'.

He added: 'I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home.'  

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