'Astoundingly selfish' partygoers fined for breaching Covid rules

Ashley Huntington pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Magistrates' Court. - Credit: Archant

A group of partygoers have been fined hundreds of pounds by magistrates for breaching Covid-19 rules.

The three men and a woman appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday for breaching regulations while the county was under tier four.

All admitted failing to comply with instructions to disperse from a flat in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, where officers had earlier broken up a children's party. 

Police had handed out fines after acting on a tip-off and discovering 10 people inside at about 9.20pm on New Year's Day. 

Prosecutor David Bryant said only one could prove they lived at the address, where seven adults and three children were gathered. 

When they revisited in the early hours of the morning, officers found Tudorel Mihai, Petrica Petrachiuta, Florin Ungureanu and Violeta Lucan had ignored instructions. 

Petrachiuta, 41, of Chevallier Street, and Ungureanu, 20, of no fixed address, also admitted obstructing police in the execution of their duty.

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Mr Bryant said: "It had been explained to everyone that social gatherings were not allowed – and that there could be no mixing of households outside support bubbles.

"Fines were issued to all adults in attendance. When police returned, it seems some had not left as instructed."

Mr Bryant said Petrachiuta had provided a non-existent address, while Ungureanu had grabbed at an officer after refusing to leave.

Bruce Clarke, representing both, said Ungureanu insisted he lived at the flat at the time and was merely reacting to being "tipped out" of his own home.

Mihai, 30, of Cauldwell Hall Road, accepted being at the flat when police returned but told magistrates he had not been among those present earlier in the night.

Presiding magistrate, Christopher Day said: "This was an appalling set of circumstances. 

"This behaviour is not to be tolerated. The UK is in the grips of a severe health emergency. People are dying daily and you have taken up police time."

Addressing Petrachiuta and Ungureanu, he added: "Your selfishness in a time of national pandemic is astounding."

Mihai was fined £200, while Petrachiuta and Ungureanu were fined £320. 

Lucan, 33, also of Chevallier Street, was fined £500.

Magistrates also brought forward charges of driving without insurance or a valid licence against Ungureanu from November 22 – for which he was fined another £120 and given six penalty points.

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