Wedding organiser fined £10k for holding 80-guest ceremony

Ariana Gardens in Margaretting, where police were called to an 80-guest wedding ceremony which breached Covid restrictions.

Ariana Gardens in Margaretting, where police were called to an 80-guest wedding ceremony which breached Covid restrictions. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

The organiser of a wedding party in Margaretting has become the first person in Essex to be fined £10,000 for organising a large gathering.

Essex Police began receiving reports from the public at around 4.15pm on Sunday, October 11 that a large wedding party with 80 guests was taking place at Ariana Gardens in Ivy Barn Lane, Margaretting.

When officers arrived they found approximately 80 guests enjoying a sit-down dinner.

Each guest was spoken to by the officers who explained that the wedding was in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.

MORE: 32 students from the University of Essex fined for breaking Covid rulesThey were asked to leave and were told they would be issued with a fixed penalty notice if they did not comply. Each of the guests left the venue.

A 41-year-old man was identified as being the organiser of the wedding party and he was reported for summons to court accused of holding a gathering of more than 15 people in breach of coronavirus legislation, which carries a £10,000 fine.

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Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, said: “This wedding party was a blatant breach of the current restrictions which only allows for 15 people to be present at a wedding.

“The legislation exists for a reason, which is to stop the spread of the virus and to protect our communities as we all work together to drive down the risk of infection.

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“Throughout the last more than six months many of us have missed weddings, funerals, special events and the opportunity to see our wider family and friends – it has been hard for all of us.

“But while the majority of people in Essex continue to do all they can to support us and help stop the spread of the virus, a selfish few think they can flout the rules with no thought for the health risk posed by their actions.

“Throughout the last few months we have taken every opportunity to engage with our residents and explain where we have found them not following rules, enforcement has always been a last resort and reserved only for those flagrantly or persistently breaking the law.

“In situations such as this, a large wedding organised with no regard for the law, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action as we do all we can to keep the people of Essex safe.”

You can make reports to Essex Police via their website by using their Digital 101 service, where you can speak to one of our operators online between 7am and 11pm.

Alternatively you can make a report here.

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