Boat party organiser pleads guilty to breaking Covid rules during lockdown

Hackney boat party body cam footage still.

Approximately 30 people were found to have been at the party in February during the third Covid lockdown. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

A man has admitted breaking Covid rules after throwing a Hackney boat party during the pandemic. 

Jordy Nicholas Van Duijvenbode, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on April 30, after approximately 30 people gathered for a party on a house boat on the River Lea between Tottenham Lock and Hackney. 

Police received several calls in the early hours of February 13 reporting a large number of people playing music on a boat located off Hackney Marshes at about 4.20am. 

Van Duijvenbode was identified as the organiser and, on February 14, he was charged under the Health Protection Regulations with one count of holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

Acting Ch Insp Pete Shaw, responsible for the Met's response to Covid policing in central east London, said: “Van Duijvenbode clearly thought that holding gatherings was more important than the safety of others. He and everyone who attended his events put others’ lives in danger."

He was also charged with one count of participating in a gathering of two or more people. The second charge relates to an incident earlier in February.

He first appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court on March 2 and was bailed to appear for trial at Stratford Magistrates' Court on April 30.

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Van Duijvenbode pled guilty on May 3 and will be sentenced at the same court on June 4.

Acting Ch Insp Pete Shaw added: “We will continue to take action against those who think they are above the law and pose a risk to our communities with this sort of reckless behaviour.

“Thankfully, Van Duijvenbode is part of a selfish minority. Many people across London have put huge chunks of their own lives on hold as they do their bit to follow the guidance and reduce Covid infections. The large majority have behaved admirably and I hope they are proud of themselves for helping fight this health crisis.”

Since February, when the boat party took place, lockdown rules have eased with people now able to meet up with others outdoors in private gardens and public spaces in groups of six or as two whole households. 

From May 17, the rule of six or two households will be extended to indoor areas and groups of 30 will be allowed outdoors.