Tom Worsfold, instructed by Anita Atkinson at Southerns solicitors, represented DW, a landlord who had been accused of failing to close his pub during tier 4 lockdown in February 2021.
Police officers had attended the pub and found 4 people inside, all allegedly drunk, as well as the Defendant and his wife. The officers had issued a fixed penalty notice in the sum of £1,000 later that day.
The Defendant argued the pub was closed for business and all individuals were tradespeople working on renovations.
At trial, Tom was able to undermine the prosecution case on the basis that the officers had failed to caution any of the individuals present, failed to take any notes at the scene, failed to carry their body-worn videos and then failed to deal with witness statements until months after the event.
Having taken the details of all present, the officers also declined to issue “COVID questionnaires”, as appears to be the practice in London.
In a case about breaching the rules, it was the Defendant who came out on top, with the Magistrates finding the officer’s evidence poor and wholly unreliable.
It serves as a reminder that even in extraordinary circumstances, the rules of PACE and good practice ought not to be forgotten.
Tom has defended several Defendants charged with breaching COVID -19 regulations and has an excellent knowledge of the relevant regulations and penalties, enabling him to provide clear advice and prepare a strong strategy for trial. For more information on Tom please contact the clerks.