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Harsher punishments promised

Harsher punishments promised

Friday 27 March 2020

Harsher punishments promised

Anyone who breaks the law during the corona virus pandemic is likely to face an even harsher punishment than they would have done before the covid-19 outbreak, it's been warned.

Guernsey's courts remain open and will deal with any cases which arise, related to the increased police presence across the island, or any other matters which occur.

The Magistrate's Court sat yesterday, Wednesday 25 March, to hear the case of a man who had been charged with shoplifting, and he was told that committing his offence during the current situation was "aggravating".


Pictured: The offences were committed a the Co-op Locale, at Royal Terrace. 

Jason Crowther had been charged with stealing items from the Co-op on Glategny Esplanade, and also disorderly behaviour when police officers were called to arrest him.

He had gone to the shop on Tuesday, 24 March, at a time before the island was in 'lockdown' but when social distancing guidelines were in place for everyone, and more than a thousand residents were already known to be self-isolating because of the growing threat of corona virus.

The 47 year old was seen to take items from the shop shelves, and was challenged by Co-op staff who then called Guernsey Police.

He was held in custody overnight and appeared before the Magistrate on Wednesday morning charged with theft of four cans of lager, six sausage rolls and two pasties, and disorderly behvaiour.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in prison.

“The public should be aware that Law Enforcement are working closely with the Law Officers to ensure anybody committing a criminal offence is prosecuted promptly before the island courts which remain open for criminal cases," said a spokesperson for Guernsey's Law Officers. 

"The Judge was clear that committing offences during the current medical emergency was an aggravating factor and that the police should not have their resources wasted by irresponsible people committing offences like this. 

"Law Enforcement urge all islanders to behave responsibly at this time, to follow the advice being given and to not that if they do commit criminal offences they will be prosecuted and brought promptly before the courts where they are likely to receive a harsher punishment than they would before the current health emergency.”

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