A mental health care worker who was found in a car with 3 passengers during strict Tier 4 COVID restrictions has been handed a conditional discharge at court.
Romy Vince, 39, of Cockleton Lane in Gurnard, found herself before Magistrates on Tuesday despite making every attempt to avoid such action.
Liz Miller, prosecuting, told the court that at around 19:00 on 12th February last year, officers spotted a VW Golf with a headlight out on Furlongs, Newport. The vehicle was stopped and 4 people were found to be in the car at a time when Tier 4 restrictions were in force preventing more than 2 people from meeting.
According to the Police report, the vehicle smelt of cannabis and that all persons inside the car were not only from different households, but were known to Police too. No drugs were located, however.
Defending, Oscar Vincent drew comparisons to the Government’s alleged breach of COVID restrictions on ‘no less than 9 occassions’, saying that the claimed breaching from the country’s leaders was far in excess of that committed by Vince, who works hard as a mental health care worker for the Isle of Wight Council.
Mr Vincent explained that his client was not well known to Police with no previous convictions.
The court heard that the matter had ended up before the bench because Vince was unable to pay the £100 fine issued to her by letter. She had, on multiple occasions, tried to phone the payment line but was unable to get through. She also tried emailing but to no avail. On one occasion she went into Newport Police Station to try and resolve the matter.
Magistrates also heard that when the matter was passed to the court some 7 months after the COVID breach, Vince went online and pleaded guilty straight away. However, due to inconsistencies with the Police and prosecution’s information, the matter could not be heard until the Single Justice Procedure rules and therefore ended up in court room.
Taking everything into account, Magistrates handed Romy Vince a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay a £22 surcharge.
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