A pair of ‘penniless’ English workers are facing months in a Guernsey jail after being fined £9,000 for breaking their self-isolation by going to the pub.
Georgie Phillips, 28, and Mark Paul Dillon, 31, pleaded guilty to flouting the island’s mandatory two-week quarantine period for overseas travellers.
Phillips was fined £3,000 or 150 days in prison, while Dillon, who breached his quarantine twice, was fined £6,000 or 300 days locked up.
But the lockdown-busting men, of no fixed abode, have claimed they are too ‘penniless and homeless’ to stump up the hefty payment.
Judge Gary Perry threw out a request from their lawyer to amend the sentence to allow them to find work and slowly pay off the fine.
He instead scolded them for ignoring the rules, which were a condition of them coming to the Channel island during the pandemic.
Georgie Phillips, 28, and Mark Paul Dillon, 31, pleaded guilty to flouting the island’s mandatory two-week quarantine period for overseas travellers (Guernsey Magistrate’s pictured)
Phillips and Dillon, who struggled to find work in the UK, arrived on the island on July 10 to begin working at the Yacht Inn bar in St Peter Port, according to the BBC.
But on the very first day, Dillon left his accommodation to go to a shop, where he was spotted and ordered to leave.
And on July 16, both men were seen by their future manager at the Harbour Lights pub.
The manager again caught Dillon breaking quarantine – hiding behind a bus stop trying to avoid detection, Guernsey Magistrate’s court heard.
Judge Perry said: ‘We don’t need people coming from outside the islands and stopping everyone’s hard work.’
Guernsey, which has only had 252 Covid-19 cases and has now entirely extinguished infection, has adopted robust isolation rules to insulate the island from the virus.
The courts have not been hesitant in handing down the £,3,000 penalty for breaking the fortnight isolation.
Terence Jones, 56, was caught sinking his second pint at the Britannia pub in violation of quarantine (file photo)
Another drinker has also fallen foul of the quarantine rules for going to the pub and has been slapped with the fine.
Terence Jones, 56, returned to the Channel Island after visiting Southampton for medical treatment.
The court heard Jones, from St Peter Port, had arrived home on July 1 at about 3pm, and had promised the airport’s customs officer he would obey the quarantine.
But at 5pm, the official saw Jones smoking outside the Britannia pub and later went inside to find the drinker sinking his second pint of beer.
In interview Jones said he had gone to the pub to get his flat key, but then had stopped for a drink. He had planned to pop to the shop before going home.
Defence advocate David Thompson said his client accepted he should have made alternative arrangements to get the key, but Judge Perry said: ‘It beggars belief.’
Even more essential outings such as hairdressers are not exempt. Gareth Le Monnier, 37, was told to self-isolate for two weeks on July 3 after leaving his home in Jersey to see his wife in neighbouring Guernsey.
But just before his fortnight was up, he went to a salon as well as a toy shop and a Waitrose cafe, Guernsey Magistrates’ Court heard. He admitted two breaches over two days and was fined £3,000 for each, totalling £6,000.
His breaches were uncovered by a welfare check which found he wasn’t at his registered address on July 16.