Pensioner given Covid breach warning over socially-distanced cup of tea

cup of tea credit PA
The 82-year-old was visited by police. Credit: PA

A pensioner has been given a Covid breach warning by police after having a socially-distanced cup of tea in her communal garden.

The 82-year-old was visited by police after she had been reported for drinking tea outside with neighbours from her sheltered housing complex.

The woman, from Charlton Kings, was watching television in bed when there was a knock at the door at 9.45pm.

The pensioner's daughter Lesley Magovern, 56, from Cheltenham said: “My mother heard a knock at the door and it was very late and she wondered really who it could be.

Police visited the pensioner and warned her about a potential Covid breach. (Pictured: a stock image of police).

'She was quite frightened'

"My mother is quite deaf and she asked who it was and she thought the voice said ‘It’s me’. Then mother assumed it was in fact me and she then opened the door.

“There were two officers stood there, a man and a woman with masks on and they asked if they could come in and speak to her.

"They did not show her any identification so she just trusted the uniform and she was quite frightened. My mother has never been in trouble with the police in her life.”

The residents all share a communal garden and her mother moved in just before lockdown.

Mrs Magovern said: “I can not believe the police travelled from Gloucester to Charlton Kings so late for something so ridiculous.

“When they were there, they told mother if it were to happen again she would be fined. Then they asked her to provide identification so she was rooting around trying to find some.

"Finally she ended up showing them an out of date drivers licence as that is all she had.”

The officers that visited Mrs Palmer are part of Gloucestershire Police's Covid response team.

A force spokesperson said: “An officer has spoken to the complainant and an explanation was provided in response to concerns raised. She was content with this and the matter has been resolved.

“Covid response officers attended later that day at around 9.45pm where some residents were spoken to and given words of advice around current restrictions.

“Officers are deployed to incidents based on an assessment of the threat, risk and harm of the incident and in this case officers who are part of the Covid response team and are deployed across the county attended later that evening.”

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