Covid-busting gathering at University of Northampton lands woman with £900 court bill

Police discovered 25 people in one room during routine patrol on Waterside Campus

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 9:18 am

Magistrates ordered a woman to pay nearly £1,000 after a police raided a Covid-busting gathering at University of Northampton.

Bergit Afi Boamah was among 25 people discovered in a room at 10pm during a routine patrol at Waterside Campus on September 24 last year.

Most of the group — understood to be students just returning to campus after the summer break — fled but three were issued with £200 Fixed Penalty Notices by officers.

Police raided the Covid-busting gathering at UoN back in September
Police raided the Covid-busting gathering at UoN back in September

Coronavirus regulations at the time meant that only six people were allowed at any indoor gathering.

Boamah wound up in court earlier this month after failing to pay and was fined £720 by Northampton magistrates.

The 20-year-old, whose address was given on court documents as St John's Halls of Residence, was ordered to pay a further £207 in prosecution costs and a surcharge to fund victim services.

Rules limiting numbers mixing together indoors were due to be finally lifted on Monday (June 21) under stage four of the roadmap but are now set to continue until July 19 following the Prime Minister's announcement.

Supt Elliot Foskett

And Northamptonshire Police says it will continue to enforce restrictions with FPNs where needed — including £10,000 tickets for anyone found organising illegal gatherings such as house parties or music events.

Superintendent Elliot Foskett, who has led the Force response to Covid-19 since the pandemic hit the county in March 2020, said this week: "Reports of Covid breaches have dropped steadily and we’ve seen a real decline in the number of people calling us.

"We've had 136 reports since May 17 compared to 200 a day at the start of the year.

"FPN have also dramatically reduced but most of those we have given out are to those gathering indoors in greater numbers than permitted.

"It's not all good news because we know there are things going on that are not being reported to us.

“We are also starting to get more reports of people not wearing masks where they should.

“Northamptonshire was one of the first forces to really start enforcing legislation around wearing masks and we did this for a reason because we know that wearing masks has a significant benefit and it stops spread of infection.

“Other than an exemption there really isn't any excuse for this now, most shops you go into and you've forgotten your mask there is usually one for you to use.

“Remember your mask and if you don't we won't shy away from enforcing it with a fine."