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Woman fined for care home visit to elderly mother has fixed penalty notice rescinded

14 January 2021, 13:00

Daniel Bevan

By Daniel Bevan

A woman who was handed a £60 Covid fine after visiting her 94-year-old mother in her care home has had her fixed penalty notice rescinded.

Carol Richards and her husband David made the ten mile journey from their home in Pen-y-fai, near Bridgend, to Picton Court Care Home in Porthcawl on Sunday.

However, on their way home from visiting Carol's mother Decima Minhinnick, who has vascular dementia, they were stopped and handed a fine by a police officer.

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Mrs. Richards told LBC: “It was not fair and it put me in a really dark place initially.

“I was gobsmacked and when I tried to explain [the officer] didn’t engage with me.”

The couple can only speak to Carol’s mother through the windows of the care home, but they believe it makes "the world of difference" for her.

Carol and David Richards had their fixed penalty notice rescinded
Carol and David Richards had their fixed penalty notice rescinded. Picture: Phil Cope
The couple were visiting Decima Minhinnick in a care home
The couple were visiting Decima Minhinnick in a care home. Picture: Eamon Burke

Mrs Richards said: “She can just about hear us and we can wave to her.

“Sometimes she’ll wave back and give us a big smile which is absolutely priceless because you know that is a quality moment in her life.

“I want to keep doing that.”

In a statement 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, January 10th.

“The circumstances of the journey and the issuing of the fine have since been reviewed and the notice has been rescinded.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.

“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.”

Visits to care homes are allowed under Wales’ current alert level 4 restrictions, but only on compassionate grounds.

The guidelines on the Welsh Government website says: “You may have compassionate reasons for visiting someone in exceptional circumstances where that person is struggling with restrictions on meeting others generally or they may be suffering from a physical or mental illness, have suffered a bereavement or you may be concerned about their general wellbeing or welfare.”

“Visits to places such as supported accommodation, children’s homes, hospitals or care homes are permitted in exceptional circumstances, where they are allowed by the relevant setting.”

“In each case, the service provider needs to put in place appropriate social distancing and safety measures before allowing visits, and you should contact them before travelling.”