Leeds Youtuber who travelled to Lincoln to film says he won't pay Covid lockdown fine

A Leeds Youtuber has said he will refuse to pay a Covid fine after travelling to Lincoln to film for his channel.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 5:24 pm

Marti Blagborough, who runs PINAC (Photography is Not a Crime) Media UK, said his trips to Lincoln city centre police station and Lincoln Prison on Monday was "essential".

But Lincolnshire Police disagreed and have slapped the 28-year-old and a fellow Youtuber with £200 fines.

The dad-of-three said he made his living off his videos as he frequently sells them on to other companies

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Marti Blagborough.

Mr Blagborough, of Farnley, said: "We came into contact with one of the officers while we were at the police station.

"They asked us what we were doing and they spoke about Covid and I explained that I'm a director of a limited company. This is what I do, this is my job - and they're fine about it and left us.

"We headed over to HMP Lincoln and we were doing our videos there and then one of the same officers came back with three of his colleagues.

"And by this time he was happy to give us a Covid fine. It was kind of baffling.

"From the moment they got out with a car, just by their demeanour and the attitude, I knew it wasn't going to end well, I knew something was going to happen - I just wasn't sure what."

Mr Blagborough added: "This is what I do for a living - it is essential for me to travel from work, because I cannot do these videos in my home. It's just obviously not possible."

The Youtuber has 25,000 followers on the video platform and frequently films 'auditing' videos in which he records government and military buildings in order to test his rights to film in certain places.

He said: "I think it's super important because over the years a lot of our rights have been eroded by new legislation, and I just feel you have to stand for your rights because if you don't use them, you're probably going to lose them.

"Taking videos and pictures is a massive part of a lot of people's jobs and I think it'd be nice to get to a point where people no longer get hassled for doing their job and doing something they're legally entitled to do."

Mr Blagborough has also recently been given two other Covid fines in other parts of the country, which he said he will fight.

He added: "I'm more than confident that I'll be able to win them because at the end of the day it is my job and there's no argument about that."

Lincolnshire Police's Chief Inspector Andy Morrice said: “The majority of the public have worked with us and I thank them for that.

“With a virus spreading so rapidly through contact with others we should all be asking ourselves whether our reason to leave home is truly essential. In this case travelling was not deemed essential.

“There is a real risk that our health service could be overwhelmed and people - our friends and family - could die needlessly from this virus.

“Those personal decisions are critical.”

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