‘I said “Look, she’s got vascular dementia”‘: ‘Outraged’ couple hit back at ‘ridiculous’ officer who fined them £60 for visiting wife’s mother in Welsh care home after police cancel penalty
- Carol and David Richards drove 10 miles to visit Decima Minhinnick at care home
- They were reprimanded by police on return despite having received permission
- Couple were handed £60 fine, which has been rescinded by South Wales Police
- Speaking today, Mrs Richards says incident left her feeling ‘upset and outraged’
A couple have hit back at a police officer who fined them £60 for visiting the wife’s mother in a Welsh care home after the force cancelled their penalty.
Carol Richards, 68, and her husband David, 66, from Bridgend, travelled 10 miles to visit dementia sufferer Decima Minhinnick at Picton Court Care Home.
They were reprimanded by police on the way back despite having received permission to see Ms Minhinnick and handed a £60 penalty.
South Wales Police have now rescinded the fine after reviewing the incident, following a public backlash to the growing war on shutdown flouters.
Speaking this morning, Mrs Richards described the incident as ‘ridiculous’, adding that she was left feeling ‘really upset’ and ‘outraged’.
Carol Richards’ mother, Decima Minhinnick, pictured at her 90th birthday party. Mrs Richards and her husband David travelled 10 miles to visit her at Picton Court Care Home
Referring to the female police officer, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I think she basically said it’s a non-essential visit.
‘But I sort of said then “we’ve been visiting my mum, we’ve been outside in a car park and I’ve been waving to her through the window” and she said “well we’d all like to wave to our mothers through the window”.
‘I thought my goodness, this is a bit ridiculous, I said “look, she’s got vascular dementia, she’s living in a care home, I’ve been outside, nobody and has been around and I’ve just been waving to her.”
‘But she wasn’t engaged with me, she just ordered me, and I started to feel really upset and also outraged. The atmosphere got more and more chilly.
‘We didn’t swear at her, we were being polite, I just continued protesting but then it became futile and we got slapped with a £60 fine.’
Giving her reaction to the fine being rescinded, she commented: ‘Yes they phoned us last night and David took the call, they asked for him, and he [person on the phone] was apologetic.
‘I think he said he wasn’t aware of the media attention. I think media attention has accelerated this constructive result.’
Mr Richards said: ‘I’ve got every sympathy and I fully support the police in trying to keep us all safe.
The couple pictured speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Mrs Richards described the incident as ‘ridiculous’, adding that she was left feeling ‘really upset’ and ‘outraged’
Mr Richards (pictured left) said he has ‘every sympathy’ with the police but that the female officer ‘perhaps missed a little bit about the subtlety of the situation’
‘On this occasion, I think she was being very enthusiastic and perhaps missed a little bit about the subtlety of the situation.
‘There are exceptions to the rule so perhaps every frontline officer isn’t up to date with every exception and perhaps this lady didn’t take on board this was a care home visit.’
He added: ‘We’re the fortunate ones who can actually visit our loved ones. I feel for all those who can’t in this situation.’
In a tweet posted yesterday, South Wales Police said: ‘Police in Porthcawl issued a fixed penalty notice to a man who had travelled from his home in Penyfai to visit a relative on Sunday (10 January).
‘The circumstances of the journey and the issuing of the fine have since been reviewed and the notice has been rescinded. The individual concerned has been notified.
Picton Court care home, pictured above. According to Welsh Government guidelines, outdoor visits to care homes are allowed for ‘compassionate reasons’
‘Wales remains at Alert Level 4 and South Wales Police will continue to patrol our communities to ensure the legislation, which has been enacted to help slow the spread of coronavirus, is complied with.’
According to Welsh Government guidelines, outdoor visits to care homes are allowed for ‘compassionate reasons’.
The force previously said: ‘At 4.15pm on Sunday January 10, a police officer on patrol in the Porthcawl area issued a fixed penalty notice to a man who had travelled from his home in Penyfai to visit a relative.
‘With Wales currently at Alert Level 4, Welsh Government regulations state that people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes and must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with.
‘In order to support the national effort to help slow the spread of the virus, and assist in enforcing the restrictions, our officers have been given authority to stop any vehicle travelling within the force area, to check the reason for travel.’
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