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The girlfriend of a man who was jailed for jet skiing across the sea to visit her wants to marry him when he's out of prison.
Dale McLaughlan was jailed for four weeks after admitting arriving unlawfully on the Isle of Man, having travelled across the Irish Sea from Whithorn in Scotland to Ramsey, in the north of the island.
In doing so, the 28-year-old breached Covid-19 rules, but his girlfriend Jessica Radcliffe now wants to tie the knot with her man.
The mum-of-two told the Sun: "I've had messages from all over the world.
"People from Italy have sent pictures of jet skis saying, 'This is for your boyfriend, showing our support'.
"People from Ireland have said, 'What he did is heroic. You should marry that man'.
"If he asks me, I'll say yes. It's definitely a story to tell our grandkids."
Speaking to The Daily Mail earlier this week, the 30-year-old said: "He is the best and everyone is right behind him, especially me.
"My hero. What man crosses the sea for a girl unless he was so besotted and completely in love?
"I just want them to release him from prison. At least let him stay over here. He is locked up for 14 days even though he is Covid-free. I'm sure it will calm down.
"I had a man cross the Irish Sea for me on a jet ski. I don't [think] one other woman can say that. He must really love me. My little legend."
Prosecutors said McLaughlan had expected the journey on Friday 11 December to take him 40 minutes, but it ended up taking four-and-a-half hours.
Under the Isle of Man's current laws, the only non-residents allowed to enter are those who have been given special permission.
McLaughlan had been granted permission previously to work as a roofer on the island for four weeks in September, having isolated for 14 days before meeting his girlfriend on a night out.
However, Douglas Courthouse heard how McLaughlan's subsequent applications to return had been rejected.
According to prosecutors, he bought the jet ski and set off on the journey of around 25 miles (40km). When he arrived in Ramsey, McLaughlan then walked another 15 miles (25km) to his girlfriend's home in Douglas.
The court was told that his partner believed he had been on the island working for several weeks.
The next day, McLaughlan gave police her address as his own, before the couple went to two busy nightclubs that evening.
Police then carried out identification checks and arrested him on Sunday morning (13 December).
His defence lawyer said in court that he suffered from depression, and had not been coping without being able to see his girlfriend.
Sentencing, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan potentially put the community at risk by making a 'deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate' the border restrictions, adding that the 'carefully planned' journey also put him 'at very real risk' of harm.
Guidelines on the website for the Isle of Man Government outline a Borders Framework, which is the island's 'first line of defence from importing unacceptable levels of the virus'.
It says the government believes it is likely to need 'some form of border restrictions' for 'some time to come'.
Speaking after the hearing, a government spokesman said that, following an investigation, public health officials were 'satisfied' there was 'no wider risk to the public', according to the BBC.
Featured Image Credit: Jessica Radcliffe
Topics: UK News
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