Gran, 82, given police warning for having cuppa with neighbours during lockdown

Police issued an 82-year-old grandmother with a warning for breaching lockdown rules after she had a brew in the communal garden with her neighbours.

The pensioner was sitting in bed watching TV when she got a visit from the police at 9.45pm telling her she had been reported for breaching lockdown restrictions earlier that day.

Officers turned up at her sheltered housing complex in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham, Gloustershire after she had enjoyed a socially distanced cuppa with her neighbours in their shared garden earlier that day.

Her daughter Lesley Magovern, 56, was left furious and made a complaint to Gloucestershire Police about the "ridiculous" visit.

She said: "I can not believe the police travelled from Gloucester to Charlton Kings so late for something so ridiculous.

"I really do not understand why they thought a few elderly folk drinking tea, socially distanced in a communal garden, is a priority.

"My son works for the London Met and even he could not believe what I was telling him."

Lesley's mother moved into the complex just before lockdown started and she shares the garden with the other residents.

"My mother heard a knock at the door and it was very late and she wondered really who it could be," Lesley added.

"My mother is quite deaf and she asked who it was and she thought the voice said ‘It’s me’.

"Then mother assumed it was in fact me and she then opened the door.

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"There were two officers stood there, a man and a woman with masks on, and they asked if they could come in and speak to her.

"They did not show her any identification so she just trusted the uniform and she was quite frightened.

"My mother has never been in trouble with the police in her life."

The officers that visited from Gloucestershire Police's Covid response team told the elderly woman that if she breaks the rules again she could be fined.

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The response team confirmed they received a report of Covid breach on Tuesday 9 March at 1.30 pm, suspecting that there was a gathering involving people from multiple households in a residential garden in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham.

This was in breach of Covid regulations which restricts outdoor meetings – including exercise and picnics – to public spaces, not private gardens, and only with one other person from outside your household or support bubble.

The rules are set to change to allow larger gatherings, and in private gardens, on March 29.

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