£4,700 fine for breaching self-isolation rules twice

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Jordan Taylor (28) pleaded guilty to two breaches of coronavirus regulations when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Advocate Katie Ridley, prosecuting, said that Taylor, a bricklayer, arrived in Jersey for work,
having travelled on board the Commodore Clipper on 13 February from the UK – which was classified red – and was required to self-isolate until he received a negative result from his day-ten test.

However, when environmental health officers turned up at 3.30pm on 18 February to the St Helier guesthouse where Taylor was staying, he was not in his room.

Taylor later told the officers he had gone for his five-day swab at the Airport testing centre that morning and ‘got lost on the coast on the way back’, the court heard.

Advocate Ridley pointed out that the test was at 9.45am.

Officers had also gone to the guesthouse the previous day and found that he was not in his room.

They returned an hour and a half later but he was still not there. Taylor eventually contacted officers just before 5pm to say he had been out of his room because it was being cleaned.

Advocate Ridley said Taylor was warned by officers of the consequences of failing to self-isolate, which included a fine of up to £10,000, but he had gone on to commit the second breach.

Advocate Francesca Pinel, defending, pointed out that all Taylor’s Jersey tests had come back negative and that he had returned two negative tests in England before arriving in the Island.

Advocate Pinel also highlighted Taylor’s early guilty pleas and lack of previous convictions.

Taylor realised ‘that he has messed up and he apologises for this’, she told the court. The advocate said that for the first offence, Taylor had gone for a walk after cleaners asked to access his room, and that he had called officers as soon as he was back and was able to use a phone.

Advocate Pinel said her client had been on his own and was not in contact with anyone but accepted he was ‘not permitted to do that’.

During the second offence, Taylor ‘ended up driving around for some time before returning to his accommodation’ and the journey had taken ‘longer than he anticipated’.

Taylor received checks at least twice a day for the remainder of his isolation period following the two previous incidents, she said, and had complied with the restrictions.

Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu fined Taylor £700 for the first breach and £4,000 for the second.

‘These regulations are not just for your benefit but for the benefit of the whole community, the Island, all of us,’ he told the defendant.

The Relief Magistrate said that while the test results were negative, if they had not been, Taylor’s actions ‘could have led to something very, very different’.

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