A man has been fined £150 after admitting driving from West Yorkshire to Manchester to ‘nip out for something to eat’
Lukman Majeed, 26, was spotted by the police in an Audi with four others in Rusholme at the end of May this year, when stringent travel lockdown restrictions were still in force.
The four were pulled over and questioned as to where they were headed, and were told the men had travelled from West Yorkshire, Manchester Magistrates Court heard.
The men explained they came to Manchester to ‘get a takeaway, meet friends and celebrate Eid’. Majeed later told a judge he had made the hour-long journey as he was ‘nipping out for something to eat’.
After being told they couldn’t travel for that reason, the men referenced Boris Johnson’s aide – Dominic Cummings – who travelled to Durham from London and then latterly to Barnard Castle in the height of lockdown.
“I think you’ll find we can,” they told police.
“If the aide to the Prime Minister can drive 700 miles, we can travel to Manchester to celebrate Eid.”
The three other men were issued with fixed penalty notices of £100, but Majeed, of Kirklees, failed to cooperate – and has now been hauled before the courts.
Pleading guilty to one offence of being outside of a place where living in England without reasonable excuse during the coronavirus emergency period, he was fined £150 and ordered to pay £117 costs.
Prosecutor Nick Smart told the court that on May 25 this year, officers were on patrol in Rusholme as part of a police operation for Eid celebrations.
“At around 23.15pm, officers stopped an Audi travelling on Wilmslow Road as officers wanted to establish where the four occupants were headed,” Mr Smart said.
“They confirmed they have travelled from West Yorkshire to get to Manchester to get a takeaway, meet friends and celebrate Eid.
“Officers told them they couldn’t travel for such a reason and they were met with the comment: ‘I think you’ll find we can. If the aide to the Prime Minister can drive 700 miles, we can travel to Manchester to celebrate Eid.’
“The officers then explained to them that wasn’t the position.
“Officers checked out the other three occupants with fixed penalty notices and they complied, but this gentleman hadn’t compiled and he was dealt with for non-compliance and that is the reason why he has appeared before the courts today.”
Majeed was said to have one previous conviction, but it was said to be ‘of some age’ and he was to be treated as a man of good character.
Addressing Majeed, District Judge Mark Hadfield asked if he was sat in the rear seat, then asked why he was travelling to Manchester.
Majeed replied: “Yes – just nipped out for something to eat.”
Judge Hadfield said: “Kirklees to Manchester is not really nipping out is it” – Majeed responded saying: “Suppose not.”
Majeed then explained that he had been on holiday from July 2 to the middle of August, and so had not received the FPN.
He was ordered to pay a £150 fine, £85 prosecution costs and £34 victim surcharge.
As he left the dock, Majeed could be seen laughing.