A former BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ has been fined £1000 for supplying an illegal rave with a soundsystem during the second lockdown in 2020.
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Maressa Innerarity, who is also known as Carmen London, provided equipment at a warehouse rave for 200 people in Bethnal Green, City of London Magistrates’ Court heard.
Although she was not the event organiser, she arrived at the event with her own sound system, reports The Mirror.
Despite that, prosecutor Nathan Paine-Davey said that her offence was enough to charge her for being involved in holding the gathering.
At the time the country was just days into a lockdown which prevented any sort of mass gatherings indoor and out.
The prosecutor said: “This relates to November 7 and 8. The defendant has been charged with an offence against the public protection coronavirus restrictions regulations which were in force on November 5, 2020.”
Eric Kawoya, defending, said Innerarity had been asked by two friends named if they could borrow her sound equipment.
He told the court his client did not know the equipment would be used for a party.
Mr Kawoya added: “She packed them in the car and drove to the venue. She was not told what kind of function was taking place. When she arrived at the venue at the time the place was empty but as time went by, people started to arrive.
“She had cause for concern and she asked what was going on and they said to her not to worry. She couldn’t leave because she was concerned for the safety of the speakers and damage to the speakers.”
But District Judge Tim Godfrey said “it was a blatant breach of the lockdown and coronavirus regulations in force at the time”, and Innerarity was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and a £100 surcharge.
The gathering was held just days before an alleged Downing Street flat party on the same day as Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings and communications director, Lee Cain, left their roles.
That flat party was the subject of Sue Gray’s report which was released earlier today (January 31), along with the May 20, 2020 “bring your own booze” event in Downing Street’s garden and the PM’s birthday on June 19, 2020.
Gray said “too little thought” was given to public health concerns and confirmed that the Metropolitan Police is investigating 12 events, on eight separate dates for alleged coronavirus rule-breaking.
In the House of Commons, Johnson said he accepted the report’s findings in full.
He added: “I am sorry for the things we simply didn’t get right and also sorry for the way this matter has been handled.”