Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Man drinking beer in Victoria Park claiming to be exercising is fined

A MAN sitting drinking beer with his friend on a park bench in lockdown must pay £2,326 after claiming he was just exercising.

Sunday, 1st August 2021, 7:28 am

Mark Leaf, 42, was approached by PCSO Robert Blackwell on January 27 at 11.30am in Victoria Park as both he and a pal were drinking Holsten Pills.

PCSO Blackwell was talking to the other man when Leaf, of High Street, Old Portsmouth, repeatedly interrupted having claimed he was just exercising in the park.

The PCSO said: ‘At this point Mark was stood, still drinking a can of beer, this suggested to me that Mark was not walking out of the area and made me doubt that he was actually there to exercise.

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Victoria Park. Picture: Malcolm Wells

‘I explained this to Mark and then told him that I was reporting him for summons and cautioned him, at 11.43 hours, using the now caution.

‘I asked if he understood and he said no, but he would not let me explain further although I tried.’

Two days later PCSO Ant Shurmer spotted Leaf with another man in the same park at 3pm.

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Leaf got up and walked to chuck away his beer in a bin when he spotted police.

But when officers questioned him he 'started to get aggravated... because he has already been issued a fine'.

PCSO Shurmer added: 'I made him aware he was breaching them again and cautioned him.'

A magistrate convicted Leaf of two charges of being outside of his home.

He was fined £1,760 for the second offence with £196 surcharge and £85 costs.

For the first offence he was fined £200 with £85 costs.

Students ‘dressed up for night out’ in halls party

STUDENTS were 'dressed up for a night out,' dancing with a glitter ball in their kitchen and had glitter on their faces in a lockdown-busting party.

Officers were called to Catherine House, in Stanhope Road, at around 4.30am on January 29 after receiving a report of 'numerous students having a party'.

PC Harrison White, in his court witness statement, said he and five colleagues went to the flat where loud music was on with a 'large crowd' of boozing students.

PC White said: ‘Going into the kitchen, the lights were off and music was playing. It was clearly a party and the room was full with students who looked dressed up as if they were on a night out.

‘(A colleague) unplugged the stereo and turned on the lights revealing a large crowd of students in the kitchen, dancing. There (were) bottles of alcohol on the table and sides also.

‘It was clear and obvious that this was a party – there was a large number of young adults that appeared to be students all packed into this small kitchen.

‘There was a rotating disco ball and most individuals had glitter on their faces.

‘With the information, the decision was immediately made that enforcement was necessary.

‘We therefore prevented the students leaving the kitchen and invited them out one-by-one to be reported before being sent on their way.’

Full details of the incident came as Asher Young, 18, of East Park Avenue, Hull, admitted attending the gathering breaching Health Protection Regulations.

A magistrate fined him £66 with a £34 surcharge. His fine was treated as a fixed-penalty notice due to his mitigation.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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