Girlfriend of jet skier who crossed Irish Sea in a daring move which landed him in jail compares him to 'Milk Tray' man

THE girlfriend of the jet skier dad who crossed the Irish Sea to reach her has compared him to the Milk Tray Man.

Jessica Radcliffe, 30, has posed with a giant box of the Cadbury chocolates for a Facebook picture after being bowled over by Dale McLaughlan's gesture of love.

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Lovesick Dale, 28, had just ten minutes of fuel left when he arrived at the island's Ramsey harbour after the bonkers 4.5-hour trip to the Isle of Man.

But he was caught out and jailed after breaking Covid rules by travelling to the island.

She added a caption to the selfie snap taken in her kitchen, saying: "All because a lady loves Milk Tray, sorry I couldn’t help myself."

Dale, from Irvine in North Ayrshire, showed his approval for the picture, with the comment: “God damn Xxxxxx."

Milk Tray adverts featured a chisel-jawed hero dressed in a black polo neck carrying out daring escapades to secretly deliver chocolates to his sweetheart, along with a calling card.

The famous adverts, which ran for 35 years until 2003, ended: “And all because, the lady loves Milk Tray.”

Dale met Jessica earlier this year on a night out when he was working legally on on the Isle of Man.

But after returning to Scotland in September, he was refused permission to return to see her due to the island’s strict Covid lockdown laws.

Undeterred he bought a jetski and towed it 75 miles in the middle of the night through forest roads to the remote Isle of Whithorn, the closest point on the Scottish mainland to the Isle of Man.

He set out at dawn on December 11 for the 25 mile journey and then walked 15 miles to Jessica's home in Douglas.

It later emerged he can't swim, making his efforts even more risky.

Despite the stunt earning him a brush with the law and a jail sentence, Jessica stood by him.

"He is the best and everyone is right behind him, especially me… my hero," she said.

"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."

"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 women that can say that. He must really love me. My little legend."

The Romeo roofer was jailed on after he admitted arriving unlawfully in breach of Manx Covid.

Dale was freed early from his four week sentence in the island’s tiny Jurby prison at 6am on Wednesday 23.

He deported back to Scotland without being allowed to see Jessica again.

A pal told The Scottish Sun that McLaughlan was being hailed as a legend on the island after "he splashed out around £5,000" to buy a jet ski to be with her.

"Dale saw her every day after work until he was sent back to Scotland a few days later," said the friend.

"But they continued to speak every day and fell in love – everyone thinks they are meant to be.

"And although he broke the law, people on the island think he’s a legend for his act of love."

The building contractor’s mum Allison was left raging after her son’s bonkers venture, and said: “He could have killed himself.”

She added: “I just don’t know why he did it. He’ll be missing his kids over Christmas.”

Sentencing him at the island’s Douglas Courthouse, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said he made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the border restrictions.


He also stressed that he put himself “at very real risk” of harm with the crossing.

The court heard he had never driven a jet ski before embarking on the journey to Ramsey on the Isle of Man after struggling being apart for months.

He told police his girlfriend’s address was his own, before the pair partied at two busy clubs. He was then nicked on Sunday following ID checks.

The roofer, made the plan after his latest work permit was rejected.

Public health officials last night said they are “satisfied” there is no risk to the public.

The Isle of Man's current Level 4 Covid system allows those residents to make non-essential journeys beyond the island, but they must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Those who don't live on the island must complete a registration form and be granted an entry certificate to be allowed in. 

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