University of Portsmouth suspends 16 students after repeated Covid lockdown flouting parties

UNIVERSITY bosses have suspended 16 students after repeated lockdown-busting parties.

Saturday, 27th February 2021, 10:23 am

It comes as police fined 17 people £800 each for holding a party at student halls in Catherine House, Stanhope Road, in Portsmouth city centre.

Now the University of Portsmouth has confirmed it has suspended 16 students – with 13 of those still going through disciplinary procedures.

Three have returned to lectures. The 16 suspended do not include any from the latest party.

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Covid testing being held for asymptomatic staff and students at University of Portsmouth in Milldam car park, Portsmouth on 18 September 2020 Pictured: University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith. Picture: Habibur Rahman

No students have been expelled for flouting lockdown rules, the university confirmed.

As reported, 25 students were fined £200 each for a party at Catherine House on January 29 – just before the fines went up to £800 each.

Last year a 19-year-old man was fined for organising a party of 50 people at Margaret Rule Halls in Isambard Brunel Road on October 23.

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Professor Graham Galbraith, vice-chancellor at the university, said he was ‘incredibly disappointed’ by the latest Catherine House party.

He said: ‘I am incredibly disappointed by this behaviour by our students.

‘It is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Those students who have broken the law, and put themselves and others in danger, must now face the consequences of their irresponsible behaviour.

‘Their actions undermine the positive actions of the overwhelming majority of students who are, for their own and others' health and safety, abiding by the very clear rules.

‘In addition to fines issued by the police, they now face disciplinary action from the university, including the prospect of permanent exclusion.’

Several non-student house parties have been busted by police, including one in St Chad's Avenue, North End, where 19 people were fined £800 each on January 30.

A university spokesman added: ‘The university has suspended 16 students due to Covid -19 offences - three have returned to campus, the rest are still going through the disciplinary process.

‘This does not include the recent incident at Catherine House on February 20. Suspensions are put in place while further disciplinary investigations are undertaken. No student has been expelled as of this date.’

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