QPR ace Ody Alfa fined over lockdown kitchen party
A Queens Park Rangers footballer who flouted the Covid-19 lockdown with a birthday party at his family’s north London home has been fined Â£ 5,000.
Ody Alfa staged an illegal rally to mark his 22nd birthday in March, as England was in the midst of a third nationwide lockdown.
Police discovered as many as 100 guests at the Â£ 2.3million property in Arkley and feared a stampede causing injury or even death as revelers attempted to evade officers.
The forward, who signed for the championship at the age of 14 and broke into the first team last summer, apologized for putting people’s lives in danger and suggested that it was a âlittle birthday gatheringâ that got out of hand.
âBefore I knew it, people I didn’t know were coming in,â he wrote. “It baffled me how many uninvited people heard about the rally.”
He added: âI apologize for ignoring my actions and realize that I put people in danger by organizing a rally that went wrong.
Police were called to the Alfa family’s home at around 2:40 a.m. on March 14, after a neighbor reported a party that was still raging.
Westminster Magistrates learned that when Alfa met with officers he claimed it was just family at his birthday party, before going inside to warn people that the police had arrived.
PC Stephen Cooper heard groups of people entering the garden and told Alfa to encourage revelers to leave. He said, âPeople were running. Once in the garden, I could see at least 30 people trying to escape.
The officer said between 80 and 100 people were at the house, where alcohol was served in a bar. Alfa and his sister Oceania were identified as the organizers of the party, and the case was taken to court last week when the footballer argued that the original Â£ 10,000 fine imposed on him was ” unfair â.
Pleading guilty to violating Covid regulations, Alfa admitted to having planned a “small gathering without my sister’s knowledge”. He was fined Â£ 5,000 as well as Â£ 280 in court costs when his case was dealt with in the single court proceedings in a closed hearing.
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