Woman fined £2,500 for shopping trip to Southport

By Jamie Lopez

A woman has been fined more than £2,500 for a shopping trip to Southport.

Amanda Forshaw, 33, flouted rules banning people from travelling between different Tier areas when she travelled from West Lancashire to Southport three days before Christmas.

At the time, Southport as part of the Liverpool City Region was classed as being in Tier 2 which allowed its ‘non-essential’ shops to open.

In contrast, West Lancs was in Tier 3, meaning that only a much more limited number of stores could open, that households could not mix outside their bubbles and that travel into other tier areas was banned.

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She was initially handed a £1,000 fixed penalty notice but did not pay and a trial was held in her absence after she repeatedly failed to attend court.

Prosecuting, Amie Gouldson told Liverpool Magistrates Court that the incident dated back to December 22 last year, when PC Colin Ferranti-Donavellas was the designated coronavirus regulations officer alongside PC Howe.

She said the pair attended Southport rail station shortly after midday in anticipation of a train arriving from Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, which was also then in Tier 3. This meant that anyone arriving from Stalybridge without reasonable explanation would be in breach of these regulations and may be liable for a fixed penalty notice.

Summing up PC Ferranti-Donavellas’ evidence, Ms Gouldson said a number of people were spoken to and chose to return to Stalybridge.

The officer then noticed PC Howe talking to a man and woman who had boarded in West Lancs and said they had come to Southport to buy Christmas presents.

Ms Gouldson said: “The male said he would rather take a fine as he would not return without presents for the children.”

PC Ferranti-Donavellas spoke to Forshaw separately and explained she could contest the fine in court if she wished before telling her she could go on her way.

Under the rules at the time, the fine for a first breach of the regulations was £1,000 but Forshaw, of Richmond Avenue, Burscough, failed to pay.

She did not attend an initial hearing in June and was given notice of the trial in July but still did not attend.

As such, the trial proceeded in her absence and she was given a new fine of £1,760 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £176 and prosecution costs of £620, making a total owed of £2,556.

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