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Derry pair in court over New Year's Eve Covid breaches


Two people have appeared before a special sitting of Dungannon Magistrates' Court following arrest for Covid-19 regulations breaches on New Year’s Eve.

Both accused are already facing similar charges, while one has numerous unpaid tickets issued for previous breaches.

Ruari Saunders (35) and Lucy Richardson (23) both with separate addresses at Richmond Avenue, Eglinton, appeared by video-link from police custody, where an officer confirmed the charge against each could be connected.

She explained police received a report on New Year’s Eve of an ongoing gathering at Saunders' flat. On arrival six persons were located, of which the two were arrested.

Both are also facing similar charges from a previous incident which is due in court later this month, and because of that it was decided to bring them to court straight away rather than release on bail, as had been the case in the first instance.

On top of that, Richardson has to date been given five 'Covid Tickets' totalling £1800 in fines, which remain unpaid.

A defence lawyer for Saunders asked to have his matter dealt with and offered to enter an immediate guilty plea.

However the court was told that Covid-19 breaches are exclusively handled by a particular section within the Public Prosecution Service and time is required to review all cases.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan remanded the pair on £300 bail with conditions including abiding by all COVID-19 regulations - "which everybody should be doing” - and refraining from being in each other’s company.

The cases have been adjourned for mention at Londonderry Magistrates' Court later this month.

Belfast Telegraph