Mum fined £834 for breaking lockdown rules by babysitting kid in her bubble – just days before Downing Street Xmas party
A MUM was fined £834 for breaking lockdown rules after she babysat a child in her bubble – just days before Downing Street's Christmas party.
Elizabeth MacKenzie, 47, and her 13-year-old daughter Angel had bubbled up with pal Petra, 36, and her daughter Kacie, 12, to support each other during the lockdown last year.
Kacie had stayed the night at Elizabeth's on what just so happened to be Angel's 13th birthday, as part of regular childcare arrangements.
Another 13-year-old girl, who was officially living with the MacKenzie family while her single dad recovered from a broken back, was also there at the time.
But after an apparent tip off they were having a party, cops turned up on Elizabeth's doorstep.
They found the girls watching a film while drinking hot chocolates and accused Elizabeth of facilitating a gathering of two or more people in a private dwelling.
The evening happened just two weeks before Downing Street's alleged Christmas gathering, said to have involved 50 workers breaking rules to party.
But Elizabeth, from Preston, Lancs., was hauled in front of magistrates last week and slapped with with an £834 fine.
"It makes me angry," the fuming mum said.
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"I get fined for looking after a child and made a fool out of by a police officer whilst Boris sips wine and parties – how is that fair?
"I only had the kids who lived with me at home plus one other child whose family I was in a bubble with."
"All the girls did was do their homework, practice some TikTok dances, watched 'White Chicks' with hot chocolates and then upstairs for face masks in their pyjamas – hardly a party."
Mums Elizabeth and Petra are both stay-at-home carers and were taking it in turns to babysit each other's daughters at the weekends.
But Elizabeth, who cares for her disabled daughter Kayleigh, 26, will now see £20 a month disappear from her bank account to repay the mega fine.
Of the moment cops swopped in, Elizabeth said: "A male police officer said we couldn't have a bubble in Tier Three and then stuck his foot in the door, saying he was coming in to check whilst I was explaining the situation to his female colleague.
All the girls did was do their homework, practice some TikTok dances, watched 'White Chicks' with hot chocolates and then upstairs for face masks in their pyjamas – hardly a party.
"That annoyed me so I said no way was he coming in like that but the other police officers could.
"The female police officer said if I sent Kacie home, then I would just get a warning, so I phoned Kacie's mum to explain what happened and my brother took her home – I had to get her dressed at 11:30pm out of her pyjamas.
"With Kacie gone, the male police officer then told me he didn't like my attitude, to which I said I didn't like his, and then he pulled out his iPad thing and said he's fining me."
Appearing at Lancashire Magistrates Court on December 2 this year, Elizabeth was found guilty of participating in the gathering of two or more people in a private dwelling in a Tier Three area.
The court ruled the single mum had breached lockdown rules by having the other girl under her care while in a bubble with Kacie's family.
Elizabeth said the fine has now tipped her overbudget, forcing her to look for debt consolidation solutions.
The night in question was just 13 days before 50 government employees had an alleged party on December 18.
Today, Boris Johnson issued a grovelling apology over bombshell footage of senior No10 staff joking about holding the lockdown-busting bash.
The PM has now ordered an investigation by civil service chief, Sir Simon Case, into exactly what happened and promised to hand over any info over to the cops if asked.
Elizabeth said: "I was made to feel like I put people's lives at risk which made me cry, so yes, I'm so angry at the system, I'm angry at Boris, I'm angry at the police and magistrates but mostly I'm hurt because of how low they made me feel."
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