Man fined £200 after 'test drive' breached Tier 4 Covid restrictions

Kevin Maynard and his neighbour, John Riches, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHA

Kevin Maynard and his neighbour, John Riches, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A man from Corby has been fined £200 after driving 90 miles to Suffolk on a "test drive" during coronavirus restrictions. 

Pandy Balla, from Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates Court on Thursday to breaching Covid-19 rules in February 2021. 

The father-of-two was charged with being outside a Tier 4 area without reasonable excuse.

The court heard on Thursday that police officers had stopped the 51-year-old on February 8 2021 while he was driving on the A14 at Coddenham at around 2.20pm.  

They noted that his vehicle was not registered in the Suffolk area and was in breach of Covid-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. 

Balla, of Sandringham Walk, Corby, said he had his car serviced that morning and that the garage had advised driving to warm it up and ensure there were no further issues. 

When he was stopped, he had driven approximately 90 miles and prosecutor Waseem Raja said police found was no real reason for him to be in Suffolk for "a test drive". 

Most Read

Balla told Ipswich Magistrates Court on January 13 that he had not been aware of any restrictions.

He said he "hadn't been sent a letter about the rules" and that he "doesn't watch the news". 

He added that he had a number of health issues, telling the court: "Physically and mentally I'm not very well." 

Magistrates said that the regulations were well-publicised and the strict liability nature of the offence meant being unaware of the law was no defence. 

However, Mr Raja said no prosecution costs would be sought in light of what was said in court. 

Balla was fined £200 for the offence of being outside of the place he was living without reasonable excuse during Covid restrictions. 

An additional £34 victim surcharge was also added.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter