York woman first to be arrested and fined over £800 for breaching new coronavirus law

A woman has been fined over £800 at court after being found guilty to railway offences and breaching the new Coronavirus restrictions, following the first arrest of its kind on the railway network.

Marie Dinou, 41, and of Oak Tree Close, York, received a £660 fine for failing to comply with requirements imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020, as well as an £85 fine for ticket fraud and £80 in costs.

On Saturday 28 March at around 8am, officers at Newcastle Central station received a report from rail staff of a woman loitering between platforms.

They approached Dinou and engaged with her in an attempt to understand her reasons for essential travel, but following several more attempts by officers to explain and encourage she refused to speak to officers.

Having explored all options, Dinou was arrested on suspicion of travel fraud and breaching the restrictions imposed under the new Coronavirus Act 2020.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said:

While a ticket offence had also been committed in this case, enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest.

Sean O’Callaghan