Landowner fined £10,000 over farm wedding ‘with 300 guests’

A landowner has been hit with a £10,000 fine for breaking coronavirus rules after hosting a farm wedding with up to 300 people.

West Yorkshire Police received reports of between 100 and 300 people present at a wedding on land at Scarecrow Farm, in New Farnley, near Leeds, between 5pm and 6pm on Saturday (26 September).

One caller reported a fight taking place.

See also: Industry warns farmers to abide by Covid-19 rules at markets

Officers visited the farm and found a large number of people enjoying loud music around a marquee in woods, in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

They blockaded the entrance and dispersed the guests, with large numbers leaving on foot and in vehicles.

Police monitored the site overnight and returned on Sunday morning (27 September) to seize two industrial-size generators.

A 49-year-old man was identified as being one of the landowners and reported for summons for holding a gathering of more than 15 people in breach of coronavirus legislation, which carries a £10,000 fine.

‘Blatant breach’

Chief Supt Damien Miller, Leeds district commander, said: “This large-scale event was an absolutely blatant breach of the coronavirus restrictions that are in place to keep our communities safe from this ongoing threat to public health.

“It is even more appalling that it came only the day after widespread media coverage highlighting the increased restrictions in Leeds that have been put in place to address recent rises in the district’s coronavirus rates.

“Everyone should know by now what is expected of them, and no-one can be in any doubt that large gatherings such as this are completely unacceptable.”

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