Anti-lockdown event protester who arranged two events at public park fined by court for breaking Covid rules

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A protester who organised anti-lockdown gatherings while national restrictions were in place has been fined by a court. Daniel Carr invited people to two events at Queens Park, Heywood, in February last year – despite being warned by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and council bosses this was both unlawful and a threat to public health.

Carr, of Lennox Walk, Heywood, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £4,160 after being found guilty of two breaches of Covid regulations at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court on April 29. National Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time meant that it was illegal to organise or attend gatherings and meetings with anyone outside your household or support bubble. Rochdale council’s public protection team became aware that Carr was planning to defy regulations and evidence showed that he had invited people to attend large gatherings at Queens Park.

GMP and the council both warned Carr he was acting against the law and his actions could pose a ‘serious and imminent threat to public health’. But despite being served with a direction to stop the events, he continued to encourage people to attend through a series of social media posts. After ignoring further warnings was eventually arrested.

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Mark Widdup, director of neighbourhoods for Rochdale council, said: “The actions of Mr Carr were not only a breach of the national regulations that were in place at the time, they were also an affront to the majority of people who made great personal sacrifices in order to help protect others from a virus that has claimed the lives of hundreds of people in our borough.”

At the time Rochdale – along with six other Greater Manchester boroughs – had infection rates that were higher than the national average. And data showed that transmission between households was a ‘key driver’ for the increase in cases in the borough.

Mr Widdup added: “Although the risks of transmission were generally considered to be lower outdoors compared to indoors, there were still significant risks of transmission with people congregating in large numbers and being closer than two metres from each other. Mr Carr’s actions demonstrated a complete disregard for the legislation and his selfish actions put others at risk.”

Carr was fined £1,000 for each gathering, as well as £1,960 court costs and a £200 victim surcharge.

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