Woman Fined £660 For Unnecessary Trip To The Train Station
A woman has been ordered to pay £660 for trying to catch a train for non-essential reasons.
According to police, Marie Dinou was unable to provide a valid reason for why she was at a train station and was arrested and fined under new COVID-19 rules.
Dinou, 41 from York was approached by police after she had been seen "loitering" between platforms, for a long period of time, at Newcastle train station last weekend.
When she was asked why she needed to travel, she failed to give officers a valid reason. Following several more attempts by police to find out her need for travel, she was arrested.
The police explained a ticket offence had also been committed.
"While a ticket offence had also been committed in this case, enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest," said assistant chief constable Sean O'Callaghan.
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"In this case, officers tried their utmost best to engage with Dinou. I can assure you we would much rather not have to take such action.
"We strongly urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus."
Appearing at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court this week, Dinou was handed a £660 fine for breaching the Coronavirus Act 2020, as well as an £85 fine for ticket fraud. She was also fined £80 for additional costs.
British Transport Police said in a statement: "On Saturday 28 March at around 8am, officers at Newcastle Central station received a report from rail staff of a woman loitering between platforms.
"They approached Dinou and engaged with her in an attempt to understand her reasons for essential travel, but following several more attempts by officers to explain and encourage she refused to speak to officers.
"Having explored all options, Dinou was arrested on suspicion of travel fraud and breaching the restrictions imposed under the new Coronavirus Act 2020."
The news comes after prime minister Boris Johnson placed the UK in lockdown last week, shutting all non-essential shops, closing schools and instructing Brits to only leave their homes for essentials such as food or medicine, for work (if you can't work from home), or to exercise once a day, near your house.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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