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Man who breached Covid restrictions twice in a month fined £300

When asked about the reason for the journey he informed police he was just 'spinning about'

Covid police

A Co Tyrone man who breached Covid restrictions twice in a month has been ordered to pay a fine of £300.

Back in February, the 21-year-old received a £600 fine for a similar breach in which he made a non-essential journey accompanied by two people from different households.

Mark Johnston, of Tulnavern Road, Ballygawley, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to breaching Covid-19 restrictions at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on at 4.20pm on January 17, this year, police had reason to stop a vehicle on the Armagh Road, Portadown.

Officers spoke with this defendant, who was the driver of the car, and his passenger.

When asked about the reason for the journey, Johnston informed police he was just “spinning about”.

Checks revealed that the defendant had been given a fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid restrictions on January 15 and thus he was referred to the prosecution service.

Defence solicitor Ruari Maguire commented: “This is a young man who was not taking the Covid restrictions seriously. That is clear from his record.

“He had previously been dealt with by quite a large fine and this predates the commission of that offence.”

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter stated: “He has pleaded guilty to this offence. Although this is his second similar conviction, chronologically it comes first.”

Johnston was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.

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