Unswayed by romance, Famagusta district court on Tuesday sentenced a 35 year old man who broke the lockdown to visit his girlfriend to 45 days in prison.
The defendant was booked by police a little after 9 pm on March 25 for breaking the curfew (at the time it was from 9 pm to 6 am).
When stopped, he had told police he had ‘decided to visit his girlfriend’.
In its decision, the court said that the decrees and regulations had been issued to protect public health amidst the coronavirus pandemic with daily calls from the government, experts, police and others on the need to comply.
These decrees have dramatically changed the lives of those who adhered to the law. Yet, “some believe they are above the law and their fellow citizens, ignore the decrees and continue with their lives as if nothing is happening,” the court said, branding such behaviour as unacceptable.
“One such case is that of the defendant who simply decided to go see his girlfriend,” it added.
Offences which violate laws on public health are very serious and given the current conditions, they are particularly serious.
“In cases of such behaviour, for obvious reasons and in order that the courts play their important role in society and in order to send the right messages, the answer from the courts must be immediate, powerful and clear. This can only be achieved through the imposition of strict penalties which act as a deterrent,” the court said.
In mitigation, the court took into consideration the defendant’s clean record, his personal circumstances and arguments by his lawyer.
Saying that the only fitting sentence was that of prison, the court handed down a 45 day sentence starting today.