Trio fined for McDonald's Covid breach after 250-mile drive to find work during lockdown

McDonald's, Cardinal Park, Ipswich, is now open for drive-through customers and deliveries. Picture

The men were spoken to by police and found to have breached Covid regulations at McDonald's, in Cardinal Park, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Three men have been fined for breaching Covid-19 regulations at an Ipswich branch of McDonald's after travelling 250 miles to find work during lockdown.

Alin-marius Cobzaru, Valeriu-constantin Dumitru and Nicusor Feraru were fined a total of £800 for breaching coronavirus rules last November.

Cobzaru appeared on video link, from Liverpool, at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday afternoon.

The 27-year-old admitted breaching health protection regulations by participating in a gathering of more than two people while the country was in lockdown on November 17 last year.

Dumitru, of Lord Street, Southport, and Feraru, of Lathom Road, Southport, failed to attend court and were both found guilty in their absence.

Prosecutor Remya Unnithan said police were called to reports of several males being aggressive over a delayed food order at McDonald's in Cardinal Park.

Officers arrived to find about 10 males breaching Covid regulations by failing to social distance or wear a face covering.

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Miss Unnithan said: "The defendants stated they had travelled to Ipswich to look for work.

"They had travelled with several other males from different addresses in the Southport area.

"None were social distancing or wearing face coverings.

"They had travelled some distance in the same private vehicle, where social distancing would not have been possible.

"Officers deemed that the reasons given for travel did not amount to a reasonable excuse. Therefore, each was issued with a fixed penalty notice and sent letters on November 18 with the amount to pay."

Miss Unnithan said further letters were sent on December 11 to inform each defendant that failure to pay had resulted in the matter being referred to Suffolk Magistrates' Court for prosecution.

Cobzaru, formerly of Miller Road, Preston, claimed not to have received the original letter and told the court he had travelled to Ipswich to find employment after local agency work was put on hold.

He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £105 in court costs.

Both Dumitru and Feraru were fined £300 and ordered to pay £105 in costs.

All three will also be required to pay a £34 statutory surcharge.