Woman told to self-isolate jailed after she stopped for petrol on her way home

A woman has been jailed after stopping to buy petrol on the Isle of Man, straight after she'd returned to the island from the UK.

Amie Murphy, 36, failed to go straight home to self-isolate when she arrived back on the island on the Ben-My-Chree ferry shortly after 5am on September 18.

An airport staff member helped her to fill out a landing card and explained the rules on self-isolation, which she agreed to, Manchester Evening News reports.

Lockdown in the Isle of Man ended on June 15 after community transmission ended but strict rules have been implemented for anyone arriving on the island.

There are now three people with the virus who developed symptoms while they were isolating at home.

The Isle of Man does not have any coronavirus social distancing rules in place and pubs, restaurants, cinemas and gyms are open as normal.

But people who arrive by ferry or plane must self-isolate for 14 days to try to stop the virus spreading.

The fuel warning light on Murphy's car came on as she left the ferry port and she stopped at a petrol station in Laxey, a court heard.

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She told the assistant she had "just got off the boat" and he opened the forecourt early for her.

Murphy was reported to police after the assistant told his manager about the events later that morning.

When police called at her home, she became aggressive and swore at officers, the court heard.

Murphy is a live-in carer for a man in his 80s who was travelling with her, magistrates were told.

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She said that she had been running out of petrol and told police: "What else was I supposed to do?"

Her defence said she had been in a "tired state" and had shown a "serious lapse of judgement".

Peter Taylor, defending, said she had not realised her car was low on fuel and did not believe that stopping to fill up was "an unreasonable thing to do".

Murphy, of Ramsey, previously admitted offences of failing to comply with a direction under emergency powers regulations.

Magistrates jailed her for four weeks.

She was also sentenced to one week, to run concurrently, after admitting resisting arrest.

Sentencing Murphy, magistrates said the island was doing its "very best to keep Covid-19 out" and the rules had been explained to her.

She becomes the fifth person to be jailed for breaching the island's strict isolation policy.

No pleas were entered to two charges of driving offences, and her next appearance at Douglas Courthouse will be on October 15.

A total of 24 people died after catching the virus on the island and 20 of those deaths were residents of one care home, Abbotswood in Ballasalla.

More than 12,000 tests have been carried out on the island, which has a population of about 84,000.

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