In a shocking incident, a man said he was fined £2,000 (Rs471,775) for taking his face mask off in a shop for only 16 seconds.
Christopher O’Toole, a man from the United Kingdom said he was wearing a face mask while shopping but had to briefly remove it for a few seconds after he began to feel unwell.
Soon after taking off his mask, the man was approached by police officers inside the store who wrote down his name for not wearing a mask.
The incident was reported back in February 2021 when the use of face masks was mandatory in all public places in the UK, said reports.
After a few days, the shopper was taken aback when he received a letter from ACRO Criminal Records Office ordering him to pay a fine of £100. When he refused to pay the fine by giving the authorities an explanation over an e-mail, he received another letter where the fine had gone up to £2,000.
The man said he emailed them saying he wasn’t going to pay a fine for taking the mask off for something like 16 seconds – not a chance.
I didn’t hear anything back from anyone for months until I got a letter at the start of December saying I owed £2,000, said Christopher.
The man with teary eyes said the fine was so high that his full wages wouldn’t have covered it.”I emailed them back and found out it had gone to court without me knowing.”
“I had to sign a statutory declaration to show I hadn’t known about it,” O’Toole said