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Man Who Crossed Irish Sea On A Jet Ski To See His Girlfriend Is Freed

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Man Who Crossed Irish Sea On A Jet Ski To See His Girlfriend Is Freed

The man who crossed the Irish Sea on a jet ski to see his girlfriend has been freed from prison.

Dale McLaughlan, 28, had been sentenced to 28 days behind bars for breaching Covid restrictions when he travelled from Whithorn in Scotland to Ramsey, a town that lies in the north of the Isle of Man.

Under the Isle of Man's current laws, the only non-residents allowed to enter are those who have been given special permission.

According to reports, Dale was due to be released on Boxing Day after serving half of his sentence, but has been released three days early.

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He has now returned back to his home in Scotland and will have to wait some time until he is reunited with his partner Jessica Radcliffe, 30.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said it was a 'bittersweet' moment.

"They let him out of prison first thing and he's on his way home," she told the publication.

Dale was released early from his 28-day sentence. Credit: SWNS
Dale was released early from his 28-day sentence. Credit: SWNS
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On his way home, Dale said he was over the moon at having been let out.

He said: "I'm overjoyed to be out.

"I'm just on the ferry home and I'm so happy to be coming home and coming home for Christmas."

He added: "But I can't really say anymore at the moment."

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Dale 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 his 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).

Dale crossed the Irish Sea in order to visit his girlfriend Jessica. Credit: Facebook/Jessica Radcliffe
Dale crossed the Irish Sea in order to visit his girlfriend Jessica. Credit: Facebook/Jessica Radcliffe
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When he arrived in Ramsey at about 1pm on 11 December, Dale then walked another 15 miles (25km) to his girlfriend's home in Douglas.

The next day, he gave police Jessica's address as his own, before the couple went to two busy nightclubs that evening.

Police then carried out identification checks and arrested him on the Sunday morning (13 December).

His defence lawyer said in court at the time that he suffered from depression, and had not been coping without being able to see his girlfriend.

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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.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Coronavirus, Health

Dominic Smithers
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