UK man jailed for jet ski ride across Irish Sea to visit girlfriend
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A love-struck British Romeo has been jailed for breaking strict lockdown rules — by riding a Jet Ski for four-and-a-half hours across the Irish Sea to visit his new girlfriend, according to reports.
Despite never having ridden a water scooter before, Scotsman Dale McLaughlan, 28, bought one just for the madcap trip to visit a woman on the Isle of Man whom he met on a previous work trip there, the BBC said.
McLaughlan — who arrived unlawfully on the island after he was denied permission to go back — later said he expected his 25-mile trip from Scotland’s Isle of Whithorn to take about 40 minutes.
It instead took him four-and-a-half hours on Friday — with a 15-mile walk at the end to get to his new beau’s home in the Isle of Man’s capital, Douglas, the broadcaster reported.
McLaughlan, from North Ayrshire, was arrested Sunday after already going to at least two nightclubs on the island, which is self-governing and requires non-residents to seek special permission to visit, the BBC said.
He was jailed for four weeks on Monday after admitting to arriving there unlawfully, the report said.
His defense attorney told Douglas Courthouse that the roofer was suffering from depression from not being unable to see his new partner, who was not identified in the report.
However, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the border restrictions.
As well as potentially putting the local community at risk, the journey had also put the love-sick 28-year-old “at very real risk” of harm, the judge said.
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