Parents of teen busted holding lockdown house party refusing to pay £10k fine

The parents of a teenager fined £10,000 after his house party got out of hand say they will contest the fine at the Supreme Court, saying the dozens of gatecrashers who turned up are the real villains.

Police say they found up to 100 revellers when they raised the party in Devizes, Wiltshire, on September 4. The boy’s family dispute that figure.

Under laws introduced at the end of August, anyone holding an event consisting of more than 30 people could be fined £10,000.

A friend of the teenager told The Times that the party had a strict guest list: “It was a last hurrah before going off to uni and we thought the best way to do it was to, within regulations, have a gathering.”

  • Students hosting massive parties for people with positive coronavirus tests only

Unfortunately word spread on social media and huge numbers of uninvited guests turned up.

Explaining that he’s set up a crowd-funding page to raise money to help with the fine, he added: “The backlash has been insane,” he said. “A £10,000 fine … that’s life-damaging.”

The party host’s father says it’s the gatecrashers that should be fined.

He told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald that his son “was utterly stupid. He ignored our instructions and the government advice.”

But he says while his son was reckless it was the gatecrashers were really at fault.

“This is a completely new law. We have never had legal restrictions on the number of people in a house before. This could go to the Supreme Court as to whether you can legally impose a criminal penalty when the majority of people were gatecrashers.”

“The backlash has been insane,” he said. “A £10,000 fine … that’s life-damaging.”

Across England and Wales, 20 fixed penalty notices for £10,000 each were issued in the four weeks leading up to September 21.

Solicitor Brian Higgs, a partner at Higgs Newton Kenyon solicitors, says the rules are unreasonably strict : “You can challenge a parking fine but you can’t challenge a £10,000 fine under coronavirus regulations.

"The only option people have is to not pay the fine and be summoned to court, and then hope they can explain it to a magistrate.”

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