Family of 18-year-old hit with £10,000 Covid fine for house party attended by 100 people refuse to pay penalty and blame drunk gatecrashers as they vow to take case to court
- Police say they found 100 people at the party in Devizes, Wiltshire, last month
- 18-year-old boy claims he had only invited a small number of friends to the party
- His family have refused to pay the £10k fine as they say party was gatecrashed
A family of an 18-year-old boy hit with a £10,000 Covid fine for hosting a house party while his parents were away have refused to pay the penalty.
Police say they found between 80 to 100 people at the house party in Wiltshire, last month.
The boy claims he had only invited a small number of friends to the party but news of the event spread on social media and more revellers showed up.
His family have refused to pay the maximum £10,000 fine for their son flouting coronavirus restrictions.
They have blamed drunk gatecrashers for the numbers at the party and vow to take case to court.
Police say they found between 80 to 100 people at the house party the shut down in Devizes, Wiltshire, last month (stock photo)
Police were called to the house in Devizes, shortly before midnight on September 4.
Officers first requested for the event to be shut down and party-goers were warned to leave the property but their pleas were ignored.
As a result, the organiser was issued the hefty fine and party-goers were dispersed.
According to The Times, the family have filed a complaint to Wiltshire police and have instructed a solicitor.
The boy’s father has vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court as they do not think their son should be have to pay the penalty for other people crashing the party.
Speaking to the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, he said: ‘He was utterly stupid. He ignored our instructions and the government advice.
The family have refused to pay the maximum £10,000 fine for their son flouting coronavirus restrictions as they blamed drunk gatecrashers for the numbers at the party and vow to take case to court (stock photo)
The rules on maximum £10,000 Covid fine
Police forces in England have been given powers to slap organisers of illegal gatherings with hefty fines in a bid to clamp down on rule-breaking.
The rules on social gatherings vary across the country.
In a Tier One location, people can still meet up to six people indoors.
People living in a Tier Two area can have a gathering of up to six people outside.
In Tier Three, households or support bubbles cannot mix.
Anyone holding an event exceeding the permitted number of people could be fined up to a maximum of £10,000.
‘He is very chastened. But they were gatecrashed.
‘This is a completely new law. We have never had legal restrictions on the number of people in a house before.
‘This could go to the Supreme Court as to whether you can legally impose a criminal penalty when the majority of people were gatecrashers.’
At the time the party was held, on September 4, gatherings of up to 30 people were permitted to take place indoors.
The rules on social gatherings now vary across the country depending on what restrictions are in place in that tier.
However, police forces in England have been given new powers to slap organisers of illegal gatherings with hefty fines in a bid to clamp down on rule-breaking.
Anyone holding an event of more than the permitted number of people could be fined £10,000 under these new laws – and there is no appeals system.
There were 20 fixed penalty notices for £10,000 issued between late August and September 21 this year across England and Wales.
Lawyers have described the penalties as ‘disproportionate’ and believe the ‘life-changing’ sums could have a disastrous impact on young people.
Wiltshire police said: ‘We are unable to comment as the matter is ongoing.’