Watch: Police hand out £10,000 fine over christening with 50 guests
Parents who thew a christening party for their baby for 50 people have been fined £10,000 - after begging for an extra hour when police broke up the event.
Officers were called to a property in Wolverhampton at the weekend after loud music was heard.
There they found guests who had travelled from as far as London for the party, which included hired marquees, buffet food, a DJ and live musicians.
The organiser originally claimed there were only 20 guests, but police said officers called to the house said there were up to 50 people there.
Body-cam footage shows the father telling officers: “I'm christening my small baby, we're just having a bit of a party.”
He is told by a female police officer that no parties are allowed, and he then admits only four people actually live at the property.
The officer says to him: “They need to leave. You are breaching COVID”, before he replies: “I've spent too much money on this party. Give me an hour.”
Another officer tells him: “We can't. We are in a pandemic. We hate doing it. We don't want to do it.
“It is hard on everyone. We understand that. But we have to try and protect people. One person in here has the virus - 20 people have it.”
The dad replies: “I know, but I don't believe in this virus because it's no harm.”
The footage shows huge marquees erected in the back garden of the home in Blakenhall with buffet food and drinks laid out for guests.
The father can be heard saying to officers: “You see how much money I've spent now.”
West Midlands Police said the household was issued with a £10,000 fine for breaching COVID rules - the first time the force has done so at a residential property.
Superintendent Simon Inglis said: “This was a reckless breach of COVID rules at a time when the deadly virus is spreading and harming our communities.
“It was clearly pre-planned and bringing together this many people at a residential property is not only illegal, but increases the risk of any infections being passed on.
“We’re fully aware this is a really difficult time for people, but we won’t be able to control this disease and return to a sense of normality if we allow such events.
“This is not about stopping people’s fun and celebrations, but it is about saving lives from this awful virus.”
He said the vast majority of people were following guidelines and making personal sacrifices, including not attending funerals, and added: “So we must make a stand when we do come across blatant, and unnecessary, breaches such as pre-planned large parties. It is unacceptable and we will take action.”
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Every single one of us has a key role to play in the fight against COVID-19, and the vast majority of Wulfrunians are doing a brilliant job in following the measures which are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The sacrifices they are making day in, day out, are helping to keep infection rates as low as possible.
“I am sure they will be as disgusted as I am at the actions of others who, through their thoughtlessness, are putting people’s lives at risk.”
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