A student who was fined £10,000 for holding a Hallowe’en party during lockdown has successfully challenged it at court – but another covid reveller has been fined hundreds of pounds.
Andrew Murtymoodoo, 22, told Brighton and Hove News the student house he shares with three others was gatecrashed by people from a party which had been broken up on Falmer campus earlier in the evening.
By the time police arrived just before midnight on October 31 last year, there were about 100 people in and around the house in Norwich Drive, Bevendean.
Mr Murtymoodoo said he and his flatmates were already turning people away – and that he ended up being fined because he was the one who went outside and gave police his name.
At Brighton Magistrates Court in January, he admitted holding a gathering in a Tier 1 area, contrary to coronavirus regulations – but a hearing was scheduled to agree the basis of his guilty plea.
That hearing was held last month – and the bench, chaired by magistrate Rosalind Buchan, dismissed the charge.
Court records do not disclose why the charge was dismissed. Mr Murtymoodoo, who represented himself, had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Meanwhile, a participant in another party at a community centre off London Road two weeks later has ended up with a court bill of almost £400.
Jake Fern, 47, of Stanmer Avenue, Saltdean, took part in the gathering at the 42B Providence Place Studio on 13 November.
It was reported to police by a member of the public, and when officers turned up, there were about 50 people present.
At Brighton Magistrates Court last month, he was fined £220, and ordered to pay costs of £120 and a victim surcharge of £34.
When contacted by Brighton and Hove News, Mr Fern, a portrait artist and poet, replied with a quote from John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
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