Coronavirus: Pensioner fined after going for pint during isolation thought it was ok because he was drinking alone

Sam Hancock
·2-min read
McCarthy was found in the bar area of Crabby Jacks, at Vazon Bay, in Guernsey  (Twitter)
McCarthy was found in the bar area of Crabby Jacks, at Vazon Bay, in Guernsey (Twitter)

A 79-year-old man has been given a £5,000 fine after going to the pub when he was supposed to be in self-isolation.

Henry McCarthy was caught drinking a pint instead of completing his 14-day isolation period after arriving in Guernsey from the UK mainland.

When police went to check on him they found his garage open with no car inside.

Mr McCarthy’s vehicle was found in the car park at Crabby Jack’s, at Vazon Bay, later that afternoon.

When Officers found him sat at a table in the bar area with a partially full pint glass in front of him, Mr Mr McCarthy said he had been there for about an hour.

When told he should be at home isolating, Mr McCarthy claimed he technically was isolating because he was alone at the pub.

The defendant, a resident of Castel, in Guernsey, eventually admitted to breaching coronavirus regulations, and was fined £5,000 by Guernsey Magistrates' Court.

Judge Graeme McKerrell told Mr McCarthy in court: "To think that you could isolate in Crabby Jack’s is both fanciful and, quite frankly, pathetic.

"This was both blatant and belligerent, in the sense that you did what you wanted to do and not what you were told to do."

Chris Dunford, prosecuting, said Mr McCarthy arrived on the island from Poole on 11 September and opted to isolate for 14 days instead of seven, at which point he could have been given a test.

It was the day after making this decision that Mr McCarthy broke protol and went to the pub.

His defence, Phoebe Cobb, said the defendant had wrongly believed he was not putting anyone at risk by going for a drink because he was on his own.

Mr McCarthy was told he must remain in custody until at least £1,500 of the fine has been paid.

The balance is due by the end of the last working day in November.

Read more

Watch: People in England face £10,000 fines for not self-isolating

Coronavirus: Public warned that police will ‘enforce the law’, as fines for refusing to self-isolate come into force