Mum has Sarah Everard vigil fine DROPPED by police after No.10 Partygate scandal


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Catherine Bolton, 44, was slapped with a £200 fine for breaking lockdown rules when she was stopped by police officers after the Sarah Everard vigil in Liverpool city center in March last year

Catherine Bolton, 44, was slapped with a £200 fine

A mum fined after attending a Sarah Everard vigil has had the case against her dropped – but has hit out at how ‘unfair’ her order was in light of Downing Street’s Partygate scandal.

Catherine Bolton, 44, was slapped with a £200 fine for breaking lockdown rules when she was stopped by police officers after the event in Liverpool city center in March last year.

She claims she had gone to the vigil with son Vidal and another single mum, who was in her bubble, and was accosted by an officer after the event.

Ms Bolton attended court on March 2 and was due to be back for the next hearing at the end of June after pleading not guilty over the breach.

But she says she received a letter on Monday 21 telling her that further inquiries had been made and Merseyside Police have decided to withdraw the case. The letter said Magistrates had been informed, she said.

Though Ms Bolton is relieved – she says she wanted her day in court to highlight the ‘injustice in society’.

She argues that fining her was unfair when “Boris and his cronies were having parties in lockdown left right and center without being fined.”







She is relieved but wanted her ‘day in court’
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)







Catherine has had her case dropped
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

She said the message she gets from the government is “we will do what we want and you will do what we say.”

Speaking to the Mirror after finding out her case has been dropped, she said: “I was happy, however I thought it was a win win situation, highlighting the injustice of the policing.

“How can they not fine and pursue Boris Johnson but they can fine and pursue someone who is working class.

“I wanted to have it recorded that I don’t agree with the police strategy and have it written down.

“So I kind of did want my day in court to say how can this be fair when Boris and his cronies are all having parties left, right and centre.







She said she thinks her fine was unfair
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“We [at the Sarah Everard protest] Were all trying to make change, to show the injustice women [face] in society.

“It’s the audacity that someone like me they can fine for doing something that’s morally correct.

“How can they get away with it and not me?”

Ms Bolton said by not accepting to pay the fine she was “standing up and saying no”.







Ms Bolton insists she didn’t do anything wrong
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“They knew they were in the wrong that’s why they dropped the case.

“I was fighting it because I thought either I’m going to win this or I pay the money but there’s going to be outrage.

“How can you fine a single mother who works for the NHS and not Boris Johnson? It’s ridiculous and unfair.”

Ms Bolton insists she didn’t do anything wrong, adding “I was socially distanced, I was with my bubble.”







Sarah Everard was murdered last March
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PA)

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When Ms Bolton spoke to the Mirror about the incident last year, she said: “We were purposely standing away from the crowd and were across the road when I noticed a restaurant where my mum had her 60th birthday party so was showing my friend when a police officer approached me and told me to go home.

“He kept saying move on, move on so I told him I’m not going home as we have a right to be here.

“He demanded that I tell him what my name is and I told him no as I have the right to be on the street. He then said he would fine me.”

She said she was shaking and through fear initially gave a fake name before she gave her real one.

Patrick Ormerod, solicitor for Ms Bolton, said: “This case is another example of overzealous police misapplying confusing secondary legislation during the pandemic.

“While the Duchess of Cambridge avoided enforcement despite attending a much larger event on Clapham Common the same day, Ms Bolton and many others have been fined or arrested, prosecuted, and – in some cases – probably wrongfully convicted because of an unwillingness, on the part of police forces, to accept that gatherings for protest could be lawful during lockdown, depending on the circumstances, and that a fact-sensitive proportionality exercise is required before interfering with freedom of expression and assembly.”

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: “Following the murder of Sarah Everard, people across the UK held events both in her memory and to recognize the ongoing dangers faced by women.

“On 13 March 2021, approximately 30-40 people attended St Luke’s Church on Leece Street in Liverpool to take part in a minute’s silence in Sarah Everard’s memory.

“Officers spoke to those who attended, all of whom were socially distanced and abided with restrictions in place at the time to help prevent the spread of the virus. The group completed a minute’s silence, which was respected by police, and left shortly afterwards.







Merseyside Police have since dropped the case against Ms Bolton
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Catherine Bolton)

“A number of people arrived at the location after the minute’s silence had concluded and the original group had left. They did not engage with officers and three fixed penalty notices were issued for breaches of covid legislation.

“Following a review of evidence and in consultation with legal representatives, Merseyside Police have now decided to discontinue the prosecution in this case.”

The Mirror has contacted Downing Street and the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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