A MAN has been prosecuted under coronavirus lockdown regulations after police became exasperated with his repeated non-compliance.

Blackburn magistrates heard Emdad Ali had been issued with four penalty notices after catching the bus from his home in Colne to Burnley for what the police discovered were unnecessary journeys.

And on the fifth occasion officers decided to send Ali before the magistrates in what is thought to be one of the first times an individual has appeared in court for breaching the coronavirus restrictions.

Others have appeared at court for assaulting, spitting and coughing at emergency workers during the Covid-19 lockdown period but not prosecuted under the coronavirus restriction legislation.

District Judge Joanne Hirst told Ali that, despite his personal issues, he had to conform to the lockdown restrictions.

“The police had warned you four times not to travel to Burnley but you still did,” said District Judge Hirst.

“They were clearly exasperated and had no choice but to bring you to court.

“I hope you now understand that it is crucial you obey the rules,” she added.

Ali, 31, of Skipton Road, Colne, pleaded guilty to contravening the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 by travelling between Colne and Burnley on April 12 without reasonable excuse. He was fined £100 with £88 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said Ali had been given penalty notices on March 23, March 28, April 6 and April 11, the day before the offence which brought him before the court.

On April 12 he was stopped in the Danehouse Road area of Burnley and he told police he was going to the bank to get money because he wanted to get some food.

“The officer spoke to the manager of the supported living accommodation where he lives and she said there was food in his cupboards and staff would have got anything else he needed,” said Mr Bardsley.

“The four penalty notices each resulted in a £60 fine.”

Ali, who was not represented, told the court he was schizophrenic and had been living in supported accommodation for about a year.

He said he had travelled to Burnley to go to the bank to get money so he could buy food. He said he now had a bank card.