A woman was fined £12,000 for hosting a lockdown-busting party for her 27th birthday last year, a day after two gatherings were held in Downing Street.
Vianna McKenzie-Bramble, 28, is one of thousands of people who have been taken to court for breaching Covid-curbing rules imposed by the Government.
The bash, with about 40 people and a bouncy castle in Hackney, east London, on April 17 2021, was on the same day as the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, which the Queen attended wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family at Windsor, in line with Covid restrictions.
Police officers patrol St James’s Park last spring, when ‘stay at home’ restrictions were eased. Vianna McKenzie-Bramble, 28, threw the birthday bash in April 2021
In a witness statement, police rebuked Ms McKenzie-Bramble for holding the party while the country was in a period of mourning after Philip’s death.
It has also emerged that advisers and civil servants gathered for two separate parties in Downing Street after work on the eve of the funeral.
No 10 has apologised to Buckingham Palace for the parties.
Ms McKenzie-Bramble’s party was on the same day as the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, which the Queen attended wearing a face mask
Boris Johnson’s former director of communications, James Slack, has also apologised for the ‘anger and hurt’ one of the gatherings, which was a leaving do held for him, had caused.
At the time, Government guidance said: ‘You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble.
‘You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.’
The Metropolitan Police has said any investigation into Downing Street parties by them would depend on evidence uncovered by the Cabinet Office inquiry.
A bombshell email leaked last week proved that Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited more than 100 staff to bring their own drinks to No10’s lavish gardens on May 20, 2020 to ‘make the most of the lovely weather’.
At the time, only two people were allowed to socialise outside while at least two metres apart under national Covid curbs.
Officers showed up at Ms McKenzie-Bramble’s party after members of the public complained about a big Covid-rule-breaking party, according to the witness statement.
Police found a marquee and a bouncy castle had been set up in the estate’s communal garden.
Groups of people, ‘none of whom were wearing masks or social distancing’, were ‘gathering in groups much larger than six’.
In the witness statement, Police Constable Lindsey England said: ‘I explained to Vianna that there needed to be consequences for her actions, namely organising such a large gathering during a time where there is still such a significant risk to public health.
‘On this day in particular it was the funeral of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.
‘The country is in mourning and only limited members of his close family were able to attend the ceremony.
‘Vianna being so blasé about organising such a large and illegal event for her 27th birthday party is totally unacceptable and disrespectful in light of everything that is going on in the world.’
Ms McKenzie-Bramble was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine within 28 days, as well as a £190 victims’ fund surcharge and £110 in court costs, at a closed courtroom hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 29 2021.