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Covid lockdown breaker crashed car on Snake Pass

Thursday, April 28th, 2022 2:14pm

By Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporter @EddieBisk

The A57 Snake Pass. Image: Google Maps.

A fleet of emergency personnel were required after a Covid lockdown breaker crashed his car on Snake Pass, driving from Liverpool, in a bid to "look at the snow".

Court documents which have now been released to the Local Democracy Reporting Service shed light on the incident, which occurred on January 15, 2021.

In a process called the Single Justice Procedure, people who have been given Covid fines and not paid them are tried in closed-doors court hearings, often without their presence, knowledge or a plea and without public access.

One such incident, which can now be publicised, relates to Noel John, now aged 24, of Charles Street in St Helens, near Liverpool.

A police statement, which is the only supporting document used as part of the case against John, seen by the LDRS, says police were called to Snake Pass at 7.45pm on January, 15, 2021 after reports of a crash.

The report, from PC Leanne Nichols, says there was snow and ice on the roads and the weather conditions were cold and freezing.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found a BMW on its roof in the middle of the road and two women and a dog were trapped inside.

Two men, one of which was the driver, John, were stood at the side of the road, PC Nichols details.

PC Nichols details that officers made attempts to free the women and dog from the vehicle but were unsuccessful.

She writes that all in all, four police officers, two fully-staffed fire engines and two paramedics, along with a recovery vehicle, were required to deal with the incident, with the women and dog eventually freed from the flipped BMW.

John is said to have told officers that he had “come for a drive out to look at the snow” from different households within the Manchester and Liverpool area and that it was his birthday.

The journey from St Helens to Snake Pass is a near 100-mile roundtrip and was carried out while Tier 4 restrictions were in force restricting residents to only essential journeys.

All of the four adults were given £200 Covid fines for travelling without a reasonable excuse under lockdown orders.

John did not pay his fine and at a closed-doors hearing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on August 31, 2021, he was handed an increased fine of £1,760, made to pay a victim surcharge of £176 and court costs of £85 – totalling £2,021.

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