Reckless teenager, 19, fined £10,000 under Covid rules after house party of 50 ‘got out of hand’


A reckless teenager who was fined £10,000 under Covid rules after police broke up a party of 50 people at his student home is a former boarder at a £30,000-a-year private school, MailOnline can reveal. 

Stuart Hawk, 19, claimed he had only invited around 25 people to the party on Friday – just days before new government rules limiting gatherings to six people are introduced.

But the Nottingham University politics student, who according to his social media is from South Africa and attended £10,000-a-term independent boarding school Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, said things quickly ‘got out of hand’ when uninvited guests started turning up at his shared student house.

Council officers were called and are said to have given Hawk the chance to end the party, at the address, in Harlaxton Drive, Lenton – close to the university campus.

Police later attended and broke up the gathering.

Hawk, who has recently campaigned for male mental health awareness on his social media profile and completed a Brave the Shave for McMillan Cancer Trust last year, was slapped with a £10,000 fine.

According to his social media, Hawk (pictured here with a novelty toy gun) once attended £10,000-a-term independent boarding school Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire

Stuart Hawk (left), 19, claimed he had only invited around 25 people to the party on Friday – just days before new government rules limiting gatherings to six people are introduced. According to his social media, Hawk (pictured right with a novelty toy gun) once attended £10,000-a-term independent boarding school Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire

Council officers were called and are said to have given Hawk the chance to end the party, at the address (pictured), in Harlaxton Drive, Lenton - close to the university campus

Council officers were called and are said to have given Hawk the chance to end the party, at the address (pictured), in Harlaxton Drive, Lenton – close to the university campus 

The fine is the maximum financial penalty under new powers introduced last month to crackdown on illegal raves during lockdown.

Hawk has since apologised for the incident, which took place at the student home he shares with five others. The students have also written a letter of apology to neighbours, which has been seen by MailOnline.

Police crack down on illegal parties as revellers hit the town before tough new ‘rule of six’ comes into force 

Police across Britain last night launched a crack down on illegal parties as revellers hit the town for boozy celebrations before the government’s tough new ‘rule of six’ comes into force.

Officers broke up house parties in Altrincham, Stockport and Flixton, all in Greater Manchester, on Saturday night, while police in Nottingham tackled a 50 person gathering in Lenton.

In the largest gathering said to have been broken up by officers last night, a team from Greater Manchester Police dispersed around 70 party-goers from a house in Mottram.

The crackdown came as revellers up and down the country hit the streets for a last hurrah before the government’s new rule limiting the number of people in gatherings to six comes into play on Monday.

With little sign of social distancing, large groups of drinkers gathered at bars and restaurants in London, Nottingham, Manchester, Portsmouth and Leeds last night and into the early hours of this morning to take advantage of their last few hours of freedom before the government tightens lockdown restrictions again.

In London’s West End, hundreds of drinkers could be seen singing along and dancing as a busker played a tune, with very few revellers paying attention to the government’s social distancing measures.

Under Boris Johnson’s strict new measures, groups of more than six can be broken up by police who will be able to hand out £100 fines to those who flout the rules.

This will double on each repeat offence up to £3,200 and only schools, workplaces and a limited number of other locations will be exempt.

The move, introduced to tackle the rising spread of coronavirus, comes as a Government-led study yesterday suggested the reproduction ‘R’ rate could be as high as 1.7 in England.

 

He said: ‘We don’t want to talk about what happened. It has all been a big shock. Of course we would all like to apologise to any neighbour who might have been offended.’

He refused to say whether he will pay or appeal the fine, or who will end up picking up the tab, if the appeal is unsuccessful. 

None of the other students wished to talk about the fine, though, speaking to MailOnline today, a source suggested it will be split between the six members of the student house Hawk is living in.

Speaking after the incident, one of the students said: ‘It was meant to be a small gathering with mates and it got out of hand.

‘We had invited 25 people and it was out in the garden and aimed to end at 11pm and we were trying to social distance but then people invited their mates and so on. It got out of hand and we are really sorry.’ 

Police said if Hawk fails to pay or contests the fine he will appear before a court. 

The fine comes just days before new rules come in force whereby only six people can meet at any one time. 

Assistant chief constable Steve Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police said officers were prepared to use ‘the full weight of the law’ to prevent the spread of Covid-19 across the city and county.

He added: ‘We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

‘This party was a clear example of a householder who deliberately flouted the rules without a care for anyone else and as a result we have used the full powers we have to deal with this.

‘Under current rules we can issue fines to anyone hosting gatherings of more than 30 people which can result in fines of up to £10,000. 

‘And now we are on the eve of rules becoming even tighter so there can be gatherings of no more than six.’ 

Amy English, council neighbourhood policing inspector for City Central, added: ‘Residents have had fair warning that we won’t tolerate people flouting the laws and regulations around the Coronavirus restrictions must be adhered to by everyone.

‘In this case the resident also had the chance to shut the party down when they were first visited by our council colleagues.’ 

Public Health bosses in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire said the highest spike in new cases were among the 18 to 35 year olds and that they could end up exposing the virus to friends, family and some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Residents in Lenton, who reported the house party to police, described the scene as some partygoers using the excuse to police ‘we are just students.’

Hawk recently campaigned for male mental health awareness on his social media profile and completed a Brave the Shave for McMillan Cancer Trust last yea,

The Nottingham University student was slapped with a £10,000 fine

Hawk, who has recently campaigned for male mental health awareness on his social media profile and completed a Brave the Shave for McMillan Cancer Trust last year, was slapped with a £10,000 fine

Police were called a short time later and found around 50 people at the address, which is close to the university, who were all ordered to leave (Harlaxton Drive pictured)

Police were called a short time later and found around 50 people at the address, which is close to the university, who were all ordered to leave (Harlaxton Drive pictured)

The students have written a letter of apology to neighbours following the party on Friday night

The students have written a letter of apology to neighbours following the party on Friday night

Letting agent Angela Robins, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said: ‘I started counting them – it was another four then another three and I lost count at 20.

‘It was a stream of people. They were going from the garden to the house. 

‘I am glad this fine has happened because they need to be taught a lesson. Explain that to your parents.

‘This is needed to set an example. It is also about respecting the neighbourhood not just the lockdown.

‘I grew up in this area and it getting worse and worse and when students say ‘it’s full of students (on this street)’ it’s rubbish. It does not give you the right to party at all hours.

‘There are a lot of residents still here. I think this fine will shake them up.’

Kate Loewenthal, chair of the Lenton Drives and Neighbours Residents’ Association, who lives in the area, said locals were not ‘anti-student’ but want to ensure there is not a Covid-19 spike.

She said: ‘I would never wish this £10,000 fine on anyone but there has to be a message that goes out. It is about saving lives.

‘A lot of them that did disperse from this party will go on to other parties and it could spread. I was really impressed with the police response last night.

Officers claim the teenager was given the chance to shut down Friday's party before he was issued with the fine (stock image)

Officers claim the teenager was given the chance to shut down Friday’s party before he was issued with the fine (stock image)

‘It started quite early and we saw people from 7pm, which was unusual. There was a few taxis but it was mainly footfall.’ 

However, not everyone was supportive of the fine.

Resident Russell Brazier, 64, a web design consultant, lives opposite from where the party occurred.

He was one of several neighbours who received a letter of apology from the party students.

Mr Brazier said:’It was a really nice letter, very well written and typical of the nice guys they are.

‘I understand we are in the middle of a serious epidemic and that there are rules which we all have to obey but a £10,000 fine is well over the top.

‘It’s a serious amount of money for a student. A smaller fine would have just as easy got the message across that rules have to be followed.’ 

ACC Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police said: ‘We need to all remember we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic and we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

‘This party was a clear example of a householder who deliberately flouted the rules without a care for anyone else and as a result we have used the full powers we have to deal with this.

‘Under current rules we can issue fines to anyone hosting gatherings of more than 30 people which can result in fines of up to £10,000.

‘And now we are on the eve of rules becoming even tighter so there can be gatherings of no more than six.

‘I want to send out a clear message to anyone who is thinking of deliberately hosting parties tonight or tomorrow night ahead of the rules changing to please not do this.

‘As we have demonstrated here we are not afraid to use the full powers we have and we will not tolerate those who are deliberately put other people’s lives in danger.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk