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Thirsty chef had to pay extra £2k for bottle of water

News | Published:

A THIRSTY hotel chef had to pay an extra £2,000 for the bottle of water he stopped to buy on his way to self-isolation.

(Picture by Adrian Miller, 28567157)

Sanjeev Kumar, 31, had to walk only from the airport to The New Manor on the road down to Petit Bot.

But he went into Forest Stores on the way to buy the water and was recognised by the hotel’s housekeeper.

This led to his appearance in the Magistrate’s Court, where the £2,000 penalty was imposed by Judge Graeme McKerrell.

The judge said he did not understand why Kumar could not have waited another five minutes, since that was all it would have taken to walk down the hill to the hotel.

‘You did an extraordinarily foolish thing, given that you were only a short distance away from the hotel,’ he said.

Kumar, 31, who gave his address as the hotel at La Rue des Croisee, Forest, admitted the offence.

The court heard that Kumar had arrived from Southampton and signed the document stating that he would be isolating at the hotel for 14 days.

Shortly after, however, he was seen buying a bottle of water at Forest Stores, after leaving his small item of hand luggage outside.

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As he went to leave, a woman in the shop said that he was connected to the Manor Hotel and should not be in the store.

Police officers later found him in a chalet at the hotel and he admitted he had been in the shop.

He said he had tried to buy water at Southampton Airport, but all the shops were closed, as was the Guernsey Airport shop.

Advocate Jenny McVeigh, prosecuting, said that there was a fresh water drinking fountain at the airport which he could have used.

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After completing his isolation period, Kumar went to police headquarters where he was charged.

Advocate David Domaille, representing Kumar, said that his client did not know about the airport water fountain.

He had walked from the airport to the hotel and had worn a face mask throughout that time.

He was very apologetic and very much regretted this grave error of judgment, said Advocate Domaille.

Kumar had worked as a chef at the hotel for the last two years, and the business’s chairman was in court and prepared to pay any fine imposed immediately.

Judge McKerrell gave him credit for his guilty plea and being of previous good character, and also for volunteering that he had been to the shop when questioned by police.

He said that it was well known that the court had handed out substantial penalties, although they were some way short of the maximum (£10,000).

It was necessary to do so, in his view, as a clear message had to be sent out that any breach of the regulations would not be tolerated.

In view of the circumstances of this case, however, he was prepared to impose a reduced fine of £2,000 or 100 days in prison.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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