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Police admit they got it wrong after woman fined £660

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Police admit they got it wrong after woman fined £660 3
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood writes crime and policing news and graduated Teesside Uni with a degree in Crime & Investigation.

Police have admitted they got it wrong after a woman was fined £660 after she broke the new coronavirus lockdown rules.

Marie Dinou aged 41 will now have her criminal conviction set aside after police have admitted they have misinterpreted the legislation.

Marie from York was arrested at Newcastle Central Station on Saturday after failing to tell officers why she needed to travel.

Police Hour released content challenging the legal authority in which the fine had been issued. Calling out inconsistencies within the way police officers were dealing with the Coronavirus lockdowns. Rather than blaming the police we called for clear guidelines to be issued from the Government.

British Transport Police (BTP) said. She was arrested on suspicion of breaking restrictions imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and subsequently fined at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Following that conviction and charge being authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) it has been established that she was charged under the incorrect section of the Coronavirus Act.

The BTP have now agreed to contact the court and request that the case is to be re-listed and that the conviction be set aside.

BTP deputy chief constable Adrian Hanstock said: “There will be understandable concern that our interpretation of this new legislation has resulted in an ineffective prosecution.

“This was in circumstances where officers were properly dealing with someone who was behaving suspiciously in the station, and who staff believed to be travelling without a valid ticket.”

However Mr Hanstock supported his officers who were “rightfully challenging her unnecessary travel”.

“Regardless, we fully accept that this shouldn’t have happened and we apologise. It is highly unusual that a case can pass through a number of controls in the criminal justice process and fail in this way”.

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