A man has been arrested for breaching coronavirus rules after organising a regular gathering where he handed out free soup to disadvantaged members of the community during lockdown.
Nick Smith, 56, was detained last Tuesday at the weekly soup kitchen he had set up at his local skate park in Forest Row, East Sussex, because social distancing was reportedly not being observed and masks were not worn.
Police initially tried to fine father-of-four Mr Smith £200 for breaching coronavirus laws but he refused to provide contact details and so, he was arrested and has now been issued with a summons to court.
However, the London-born former IBM sales coordinator says: ‘What I’m doing is completely legal. People doing charity or volunteer work are exempt from the “not being allowed to gather in a group of two or more” rule.’
According to government guidance, people can leave their homes and meet in larger groups to ‘provide voluntary or charitable services’ but added that ‘this should not be for socialising and only for permitted purposes’.