Hackney woman fined £12,000 for hosting birthday bash a day after No 10 parties
- Credit: PA
A woman from Hackney was fined £12,000 for hosting a lockdown-busting party last year - the day after two gatherings were held in Downing Street.
Vianna McKenzie-Bramble is among thousands of people who have been taken to court for breaching rules imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The 28-year-old was fined after throwing herself a 27th birthday bash which was attended by around 40 people on April 17 2021.
It was the same day as the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, which the Queen attended wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family in line with Covid restrictions.
In a witness statement, police rebuked Ms McKenzie-Bramble for holding the party while the country was in a period of mourning after Philip’s death.
It has since emerged that on the eve of the funeral, advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate parties in Downing Street.
No 10 has apologised to Buckingham Palace for the parties.
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At the time, government guidance said: “You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.”
The Metropolitan Police has said any investigation into Downing Street parties by them is dependent on evidence uncovered by the Cabinet Office inquiry.
A witness statement revealed that officers showed up at Ms McKenzie-Bramble’s party after members of the public complained about a big Covid rule-breaking party.
Police found a marquee and bouncy castle had been set up in the estate’s communal garden, where groups of people, “none of whom were wearing masks or social distancing”, were “gathering in groups much larger than six”.
In the statement, Pc Lindsey England said: “I explained to Vianna that there needed to be consequences for her actions, namely organising such a large gathering during a time where there is still such a significant risk to public health.
“Vianna being so blasé about organising such a large and illegal event for her 27th birthday party is totally unacceptable and disrespectful in light of everything that is going on in the world.”
Ms McKenzie-Bramble was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine within 28 days, as well as a £190 victims’ fund surcharge and £110 in court costs, at a closed courtroom hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 29 2021.