Builder sorry for hosting boozy lockdown party he was too drunk to remember

A boozy builder who claimed he was too drunk to remember throwing a 20-person lockdown house party has been fined nearly £1,000.

Sozzled Joseph Baskeyfield says he couldn't even recall hosting the bash in Stoke-on-Trent until he was shown a CCTV video.

Police were called to the 32-year-old's flat on November 13 after reports of loud music and a mass gathering, report the Stoke Sentinel.

Baskeyfield identified himself as the occupier to officers – but attempted to argue he was not flouting government rules because it was only his friends inside, the court heard.

He was handed a fixed on-the-spot penalty notice of £200 but claimed he did not pay it because he didn't know a fine had been issued.

He later claimed he was too drunk to remember ever hosting the party.

That didn't wash in court and he has been hit with a £968 bill following a grovelling apology to magistrates after admitting breaching the rules.

Representing himself, he said: "I couldn't remember, but on seeing the CCTV it is me.

"I haven't received a fixed penalty notice. All I can do is apologise as I really can't remember. I must have been intoxicated.

"All I can say is I apologise."

Prosecutor Sue Hayers said: "Officers attended an address in Burslem to report of a house party which was prohibited during lockdown.

"Officers noticed on arrival that the property was noisy, they knocked on the door, it was opened and slammed shut.

"For the brief moment the door was open they noticed that numerous people were within. Officers moved out of sight for a short time and after five minutes the door was open again and they could hear voices saying 'have they left?'.

"They estimated at least 20 young people were inside consuming alcohol. On arrival of the police people began to leave.

"Officers asked the occupier to identify themselves. Baskeyfield was the occupier. He appears to argue with the police about whether he is committing a Covid breach.

"Despite what officers are saying to him, he is argumentative with them insisting he has just had friends round. He's told he will be issued with a ticket for breaching Covid rules.

"He didn't pay the £200 amount and that is why he is before the courts today. It's a clear breach of Covid regulations, selfish behaviour and puts the wider community at risk."

Magistrates issued a £757 fine and ordered Baskeyfield to pay an additional £135 court costs and a £76 victim surcharge.

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