Volunteer, 59, is given £200 Covid fine two months after hand-delivering gifts and letters to villagers stuck indoors due to the pandemic as part of scheme personally praised by Boris Johnson
- John Bradshaw, 59, was fined £200 by police for breaching Covid-19 regulations
- Volunteer was hand-delivering gifts and letters to Endon villagers stuck indoors
- Mr Bradshaw was part of Survive Together scheme praised by Boris Johnson
- Staffordshire Police claimed he could have delivered parcels in a ‘safer way’
A volunteer has been given a £200 fine for allegedly breaching the Covid-19 lockdown two months after hand-delivering gifts and letters to villagers stuck indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
John Bradshaw said he adhered to social distancing rules and wore a mask while walking from his home in Leek, Staffordshire to deliver parcels including a book and a DVD to around 20 residents in Endon in January.
The 59-year-old was visited by police the next day who had received a complaint from a local that he had allegedly breached Covid-19 regulations.
After receiving police advice, he believed the matter had been resolved. But two months later, Mr Bradshaw received a £200 fixed-penalty notice in the post.
The volunteer was delivering the letters and parcels as part of the Leek-based Survive Together community group praised by Boris Johnson in a letter to the organisation’s founder Grace Buckley.
Mr Bradshaw, who walks to Endon as part of his daily exercise, has ‘categorically’ denied posing a risk to public health and said he felt ‘intimidated’ by police. He intends to fight the ‘ridiculous’ fine in court.
‘I dropped off the gift, I was fully socially-distanced and I was wearing a mask,’ he told the Stoke Sentinel. ‘I was categorically not posing a risk.
John Bradshaw said he adhered to social distancing rules and wore a mask while walking from his home in Leek, Staffordshire to deliver parcels in Endon in January
The volunteer walked just over five miles to deliver the gifts to villagers in Endon stuck indoors
‘The next day police came to my house and said they had received a complaint. I felt intimidated, to be honest. I didn’t think that giving a gift was breaching the rules.
‘I was surprised, then I felt angry. I did what I did in good faith, this is ridiculous. To take this action is a waste of time and money.
‘By paying the notice it is implying that I have done something wrong and I don’t believe I have. I intend to go to court. I want to warn other people about this and also see if other people have been in the same situation.’
According to its website, the Survive Together group offers ‘practical and emotional support’ to the people of Leek during the coronavirus lockdowns.
The group says the Prime Minister wrote to Ms Buckley, the founder of the scheme, personally after hearing about her initiative.
‘One of the most uplifting aspects of our country’s response to Coronavirus has been the upswell in solidarity and kindness towards one another,’ he wrote.
The volunteer was delivering letters and parcels as part of the Leek-based Survive Together community group praised by Boris Johnson in a letter to the organisation’s founder
On Wednesday, another 43 deaths and 4,052 cases were recorded. Deaths are now averaging 50 a day, down from a peak of 1,284 deaths on January 19
‘So I was thrilled to hear of the success of your initiative which connects people with the desire to help with those most in need.
‘It is thanks to the brilliance of people like yourself that we really will defeat this virus and we will ‘Survive Together’.’
Staffordshire Police claimed Mr Bradshaw could have delivered the letters or parcels in a ‘safer’ way and said one of the recipients had lodged the initial complaint because they had family who were shielding.
A spokesman for the force said: ‘We can confirm a fixed penalty notice was issued to a man who admitted delivering letters and parcels by hand to more than 20 people, on their doorsteps, on the same day despite the national Stay at Home coronavirus restrictions.
‘This involved knocking on doors and handing over letters and parcels directly to the recipient, without the required social distancing.
‘We received complaints about this – in one case from a recipient who had relatives who were shielding.
‘When officers spoke to the man, he agreed that this was not a necessary journey and parcels could have been delivered more safely in an alternative way.
‘He was therefore issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice.’
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