Police Constable May Lose Job After He Admits Breaking Covid Rules

A North Wales Police constable may lose his job after breaching Covid rules during Wales’ winter lockdown.

Mark Lee, 43, said he was not aware of recent regulations when he went for a walk with his partner 20 miles from his home on 29 December 2020.

He told his colleague he was not isolating after his positive Covid test as he had no symptoms.

Two other charges were dismissed when the prosecution offered no evidence.

Lee admitted a charge of breaching Regulation 37 of the Wales Coronavirus Restrictions 2020, at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He had been walking with his partner and her child at Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia some 20 miles from his home address in Colwyn Bay.

Richard Orme, defending, said: “His guilty plea effectively terminates his employment with the police which he’s had for many years.

“Mark Lee was struggling for some time fighting his own demons, suffering with mental health issues.

“He could clearly have gone for exercise at a location nearer to where he resided. The greatest sentence for him is the loss of employment. He apologises because he is aware other officers have issued tickets for similar offences.”

A spokesperson for North Wales Police said that “the force demands that all officers and staff behave within the law at all times.”

They added: “This message was reinforced internally on numerous occasions during the pandemic, in order to protect our communities across north Wales.

“Now that the matter has been dealt with by the Court, it will be subject to further review by the force Professional Standards Department.”

The district judge Gwyn Jones told him everyone had to take exercise without using vehicles to travel.

“At that time it was serious because we were all in a difficult period when Covid-19 was going through our communities,” he said.

Lee was ordered to pay a £600 fine, with £700 costs and a £60 surcharge.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58870905

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