Man jet ski from Scotland to the Isle of Man | Photo credit: iStock Images
A man who crossed the Irish Sea on a jet ski to meet his girlfriend was jailed for violating COVID-19 restrictions. Dale McLaughlan, 28, took four and a half hours on Friday to travel from Scotland to the Isle of Man to meet his girlfriend. Mclaughlan went jet ski despite never having ridden a water scooter before.
Under current Isle of Man laws, the only non-residents allowed to enter the island are those who have been granted special permission. In September McLaughlan was granted permission to work as a roofer on the island for four weeks. After being isolated for 14 days, he was able to meet his girlfriend for a night out. However, his subsequent requests to be on the island were denied, the court heard.
Prosecutors said they bought the jet ski for the 40-kilometer trip. He expected the trip on Friday would take around 40 minutes, but ended up taking 4.5 hours.
After arriving in Ramsey around 1pm on a Friday and walking another 15 miles to his girlfriend’s house, BBC reported.
The court was told that his girlfriend believed he had been working on the island for several weeks.
On Saturday, McLaughlan gave the police his address as his own, and the couple went to two very busy nightclubs that same night.
Police arrested him on Sunday evening after identification checks.
The defense attorney said McLaughlan was suffering from depression and wasn’t dealing with the inability to see his partner.
Deputy Senior Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith sentenced him to four weeks in prison and said McLaughlan had made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the border restrictions, potentially putting the community at risk. He added that the “carefully planned” trip had also put the 28-year-old “at real risk” of harm.