AirBnB, student residences, and Titanic-themed boat among venues for lockdown parties

When gatherings of more than two people were banned during the second nationwide lockdown in November, some people still couldn’t resist the allure of a party.

Lockdown violation lawsuits last month revealed parties at student accommodation, AirBnB apartments and even a Titanic-themed boat less than two weeks after the lockdown began.

But the revelers ended up spending more than they expected when the police halted their festivities and started issuing fines.

Several even ended up in court, where their cases were dealt with in a series of closed-door hearings held to deal with the large number of lockdown cases.

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These hearings, held within the framework of the single court procedure, saw a single magistrate decide the guilt and the sentence on the sole basis of written evidence, in the absence of defendants or lawyers.

Now that the details of those hearings have been shared with ECHO, we can reveal some of the boisterous parties who imposed fines of up to thousands of pounds.

Party on the Titanic

Back in November, police arrived at Coburg Wharf where music was playing and screams could be heard from the Titanic Boat Hotel moored there.

Inside the Titanic-themed hotel, officers found a total of 10 people with the interior decorated for a birthday party and “cake and booze on all available surfaces.”

The occupiers initially claimed they were all students who lived together, but were unable to say exactly where it was and eventually admitted that they lived in separate houses.

One of the officers, PC Danielle Crilly, said: “Upon entering the boat it was clear that everyone inside the lounge was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“There was a strong smell of cannabis coming from inside the boat as well as signs of drug paraphernalia across the sofa.”

Police found 10 people, many of whom were still apparently intoxicated, the day after a birthday party on the Titanic hotel boat.

In the kitchen, officers also found “several bags of white powder, cannabis resin and blue tablets,” but could not attribute the drugs to any of those present.

Officers also spoke to the boat’s maintenance man, who said he had only booked three women the night before and was unaware that others were staying on the boat.

Although all occupants were then allowed to leave, the officers were then called in by the Silver Merseyside Police Command, who said ‘positive action had to be taken and all parties should be fined “.

Officers then had to track down the revelers and tell them they were going to be fined.

Three of those found on the boat have so far been dealt with in closed hearings.

William Parker, 24, of Mill Lane in West Derby, and Sean Quinn, 25, of Cromptons Lane in Childwall, have both pleaded guilty to participating in an indoor rally of more than two people.

Parker was fined £ 492 and ordered to pay £ 100 in costs and a victim services surcharge of £ 49 for a total of £ 641.

Quinn was fined £ 320, plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of £ 34 for a total of £ 454.

The third person, Mia Kearns, 23, of Bellefield Avenue in West Derby, did not respond to the court summons and was fined £ 1,100 plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of £ 110 for a total of £ 1,310.

Chris covers local government and politics for ECHO, focusing on Knowsley and Sefton.

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AirBnB in the old “Tower of Terror” of the city

An AirBnB on the eighth floor of Bispham House in Liverpool city center was the scene of parties “every weekend”, according to the testimony of officers who visited the apartment on the evening of November 14.

Before a renovation ten years ago, Bispham House was dubbed the ‘Tower of Terror’ after four residents were left to live in the building’s shell, with walls missing and drops from 100 feet to the ground.

When they finally entered the apartment, PC Matthew Speck said, they found “evidence of alcohol and drug use and a party is in full swing.”

PC Speck and his colleagues told the court they had discovered around 25 men “of all legal ages” and two women in the apartment, “clearly in violation of attending an indoor rally in England contrary to restrictions on coronavirus ”.

The two women were Bianca Neagu, 23, and Iulia Sandu, 20, who live together on Eton Street, near Goodison Park.

However, only Neagu ended up being convicted of participating in an indoor rally, fined £ 1,760 plus costs £ 100 and a surcharge of £ 176 – a total of £ 2,036.

The Sandu case was dismissed by magistrate James Long. Court documents do not indicate why his case was dismissed.

Of the men, four have so far been treated under the Single Court Procedure.

Leonard Hill, 42, of Ashbury Road, Huyton, and Darren Walsh, 41, of Colwell Close, also in Huyton, were both convicted of participating in an illegal indoor rally and fined $ 1 £ 760. They too have to pay £ 100 in fees and £ 176 extra, for a total of £ 2,036 each.

Anthony Hayes, 32, who told police he lived in Essex but told court his address was at Aquarius Close in Knotty Ash, and Ryan Byrne, 21, of East Lancashire Road, Norris Green, both pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Hayes was fined £ 1,173 plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of £ 117 for a total of £ 1,390 while Byrne was fined just £ 200, plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of £ 34 for a total of £ 334.

Student Day sounded “like a football stadium”

On the morning of November 15, Hall staff at Liverpool University on Greenbank Lane called the police, saying that “up to 100 students” were having a party in the halls common garden with chants “described as resembling at a football stadium “.

PC Rob Langton told the court that the students “dispersed” as soon as the police arrived and “found their way back to their own student residences.”

However, PC Langton was then informed by his sergeant that a student, Joshua Johnston, had been advised to leave, but became “argued with the officers as he slowly walked to his room.”

Greenbank Student Village, on Greenbank Lane, Liverpool.
“Up to 100 students” are said to have organized a party in the communal gardens of the Greenbank Student Village.

PC Langton said: “I spoke with Johnston to verify his details where his attitude towards the police presence of the Covid regulation was bad.

“I believe Johnston was under the influence of alcohol as he hammered his words and didn’t listen to simple instructions and instead of returning to his address when asked, he said it ‘was unfair to him. “

The officer warned Johnston, 19, who lived in student accommodation in Greenbank Lane, then told him to return to his room.

However, Johnston was subsequently brought to justice where he pleaded guilty to participating in an outdoor gathering of more than two people.

He was fined £ 320, plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of £ 34 for a total fine of £ 454. He is to date the only student out of the 100 people allegedly present at this evening to have been brought to justice.

Another student party, however, saw 19-year-old George Wiswell fined more than £ 2,000.

He is so far the only person charged with a party in Horizon Heights, the Unite Students accommodation next to Lime Street Station, on November 8.

PC Timothy Woodroffe, who witnessed the incident, said: “Upon my arrival I spoke with security personnel who informed me that a group of people, who were not residing in the building , had entered the building and headed for an apartment. where they believed a party was taking place.

The Unite Students building on Skelhorne Street.
The Unite Students building on Skelhorne Street saw one person fined for attending a party during the lockdown.

“The group had been ejected but made several attempts to re-enter the building through a number of entrances throughout the night, requiring constant attention and disruption from security personnel.

“I was further informed that the group had in fact returned to the entrance again and their location in the building was unknown.”

As PC Woodroffe spoke to security, Wiswell was seen leaving the building and confronted by the police, admitting to being at a party.

PC Woodroffe said: “He had shown a blatant disregard for regulation and continued to endanger security personnel and the community at large by repeatedly attempting to enter a party.”

Wiswell, of Downall Green Road in Ashton-in-Makerfield, was convicted of being outside his home without reasonable excuse and fined £ 1,760, plus £ 100 in costs and a surcharge of 176 £.

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