Family of 18-year-old fined £10k for lockdown house party attended by 100 people refuse to pay and blame 'gatecrashers'

A FAMILY of an 18-year-old boy has been fined £10,000 for hosting a lockdown house party attended by 100 people – but they are refusing to cough up the cash.

Police said they found between 80 to 100 people partying at the house in Devizes, Wiltshire – despite the teen only inviting a small number of pals to the gathering.

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News of the event spread on social media, and revellers arrived in numbers exceeding the lockdown limit.

However, his family have now refused to pay the maximum £10,000 fine for their son flouting coronavirus restrictions. 

Instead, they have blamed drunk gatecrashers for the numbers at the party and vow to take the case to court.

Officers were called to the house after midnight on September 4 – at which point anyone holding an event of more than 30 people could be hit with a £10,000 fine.

Cops asked for the event to be shut down and party-goers were warned to leave the property – but their requests were ignored.

The organiser was then slapped with the hefty fine and revellers dispersed.

VERY EXPENSIVE PARTY

The dad of the 18-year-old told the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: “He was utterly stupid. He ignored our instructions and the government advice.

"He is very chastened. But they were gatecrashed.

“This is a completely new law. We have never had legal restrictions on the number of people in a house before.

"This could go to the Supreme Court as to whether you can legally impose a criminal penalty when the majority of people were gatecrashers."

A friend of the teen said that the party had a strict guest list – and that it was only meant to be a small gathering to celebrate going to university.

He said: “It was a last hurrah before going off to uni and we thought the best way to do it was to, within regulations, have a gathering.”

The family have filed a complaint to the Wiltshire Police, and have contacted a solicitor, according to The Times.

Lawyers have described the hefty penalties as "completely and utterly disproportionate" and believe the "life-changing" sums could have a disastrous impact on young people.

There were 20 fixed penalty notices for £10,000 issued between late August and September 21 this year across England and Wales. 

Wiltshire police said: "We are unable to comment as the matter is ongoing."

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