FINES of £6,600 levied against a woman for breaching Covid laws have been described as ‘manifestly excessive’ by the Royal Court and reduced by £1,000.
Cerys Ingram was arrested and brought before the Magistrate’s Court in October 2020 after she went shopping in St Helier when she should have been isolating.
Miss Ingram, who was 22 at the time of the incident, had flown to the Island from her home in Manchester to visit family and friends. She was ordered to extend her isolation after a nearby passenger on her flight tested positive for the virus. Instead of complying with the order, she visited El Tico restaurant, in St Ouen’s Bay, and highlighted the outing on Instagram.
In appealing the extent of the fine, which covered four breaches of the law, Miss Ingram said that the amount was excessive when compared with other fines issued for similar offences. She also pointed out that she had suffered abuse on social media and lost her job.
In a written judgment, the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq, said that the issues relating to social media and Miss Ingram’s employment were not factors that would impact the court’s decision.
However, he added that the sentence was ‘excessive, and manifestly so when one looks at sentences imposed more generally at the time for this kind of offending’.
The judgment continued that a revised sentence, saying fines totalling £5,600 ‘would adequately reflect the seriousness of the offending coupled with the mitigating factors, especially good character and the guilty plea’.