Portsmouth university students caught breaking lockdown with party 'should get kicked off their courses'

STUDENTS who flouted lockdown rules should be thrown off their courses, outraged members of the public have said.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 1:50 pm

Police were called to Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, at 2.50am on Friday where they found 25 students drinking and partying together.

Gatherings are strictly forbidden under coronavirus lockdown guidelines, and are punishable with a £200 fine minimum.

Police confirmed that all those who attended were issued with the fines, but the students have also been warned by the University of Portsmouth they could also be kicked off their courses.

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Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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Members of the public near the student block today told The News they were furious students acted in this way, and believe strong punishments are in order.

Rebecca Haines, 28, said: ‘At the end of the day, they have broken the rules.

‘Whatever the decision is by the university, it has to be the same for everyone who went to that party.

‘The fine is only £200 so the punishment has to be stricter.

‘Maybe they should get kicked off their courses – it would make other people think twice at least.’

Vera Baker, 87, said: ‘It honestly makes me so upset. We all get told to stay home and are doing everything we can to stop the virus from spreading, then they go and have a party.

‘Everyone else is adhering to the rules, so I don’t see why it’s so difficult for them to do the same.

‘We have all been told just how important it is to follow the rules, so in my opinion the university should throw the book at them.’

Professor Graham Galbraith, vice-chancellor of the university, said he was ‘incredibly disappointed’ by the actions of the students, and said they must face the consequences – which could include permanent exclusion.

Journalism student Joshua Moynihan, 21, agreed that a firm stance should be taken by the university.

He said: ‘I think exclusion from the university would be a totally fair punishment. The £200 fines aren’t harsh enough so if they go unchecked, they’ll do it again.

‘Hopefully this would deter other students from doing the same thing.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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