Couple who broke lockdown rules were 'taking photos of socks', court hears

The famous windmill ay Cley-next-the-Sea in Norfolk (photo: Gordon Bell, Getty Images)

The famous windmill ay Cley-next-the-Sea in Norfolk (photo: Gordon Bell, Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A couple from London who broke lockdown rules by driving to the Norfolk coast told police they were taking photos of socks for their online business, a court has heard.

Emilia and Grzegorz Brandt were found guilty of breaching coronavirus restrictions on February 19 this year when they drove from their home in Orpington in Bromley, Greater London, to Cley-next-the-Sea.

The pair were due to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Thursday (November 4) but did not turn up and and the trial proceeded in their absence.

An image from Google Maps showing the route from Orpington to Cley

An image from Google Maps showing the route from Orpington in Greater London to Cley on the north Norfolk coast. - Credit: Google Maps

Outlining the evidence, Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said the couple's defence was they were carrying out a photo shoot of leg-warmers which they sell online.

PC Katie Daniels told the court that she was on duty on the day of the offences, patrolling beach areas and enforcing Covid regulations, when she saw a car parked up at the beach in Cley-next-the-Sea.

Checks on the police's national database showed that the vehicle was registered to an address in Orpington and that it belonged to Mr Brandt, with Mrs Brandt also named on the insurance policy.

While PC Daniels was in the carpark, two children returned to the car and said their parents were coming back, too, the court heard.

Most Read

After Mrs Brandt returned to the car, PC Daniels asked her where they were travelling from.

"She wasn't very willingly answering my questions," the police officer said.

When PC Daniels asked why the couple was there, Mrs Brandt told her they were taking photos of products.

"When I asked if there was anywhere more local they could have taken the photos, they said there was nowhere as nice as Cley," said the police officer.

Gary Parker is set to appear at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on September 3.

Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. - Credit: Google images

She said she explained to them the country was under lockdown and the regulations were to stay at home except for essential reasons.

She issued them a fixed penalty notice and told them to return home to Orpington.

PC Daniels also said that she did not see any photography equipment.

The chairman of the bench found the couple guilty and said their 296-mile round-trip was "unnecessary and excessive".

Mr Jackson said the couple's excuse was "breathtaking in its arrogance".

The Brandts were each fined £1,760, as well as £620 in costs and a victim surcharge of £176.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter