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Romanian national who failed to self-isolate after arriving in jurisdiction fined £300

The defendant said he had not been informed about the need to self-isolate and if he had known he never would have left Romania

A Romanian national who failed to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in this jurisdiction has been fined £300.

Speaking out in court, the 47-year-old commented that he had not been informed about this and if he had known he would never have left Romania.

Gheorghe Vancea, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance and contravention of Covid requirements at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 3, police received a report of a broken down Volkswagen Passat on Boals Lane in Dromore.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the defendant, who admitted to being the driver of the vehicle.

Vancea was subsequently arrested for no insurance and other matters.

The defendant accepted that he had been in this jurisdiction for eight days and had not self-isolated for 14 days as required.

Speaking out in court at this point, Vancea commented that he had not been informed about this and if he had known he would never have left Romania.

The prosecution continued by saying that the defendant had told police that he had come to this jurisdiction looking for work and was subsequently overnight charged as no address could be established.

Defence solicitor John Rocks stated: “As was outlined, he arrived here eight days ago for the purposes of finding work, without any family connection to this jurisdiction.

“He had been travelling to Dublin in a car he had borrowed from a friend and it broke down.”

He continued: “For breaching the Covid regulations he will have to pay a penalty of £1,000. I am instructed that he has no money with which to pay this.

“There is a certain inevitability with what will happen, given that he has no family members to assist him.”

District Judge Eamonn King handed Vancea six penalty points and ordered that he pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within four weeks.

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