32-year-old accused of failing to quarantine after returning from Turkey

A 32-year-old has appeared in court accused of failing to isolate after he returned from getting elective cosmetic surgery in Turkey.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 4:13 pm

Sam McGinley, of Rose Court, is charged with breaching coronavirus international travel regulations on August 3.

He is further accused of resisting police on August 5.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that the defendant had reason to contact police on August 4 for an unrelated matter and informed police he had just returned from Turkey.

An investigating officer said police have since found out the 32-year-old was in Turkey for ‘some type of elective cosmetic surgery’.

Officers returned to McGinley’s home address the next day and explained the international travel regulations and asked him if he would go into isolation in a hotel.

It is alleged the defendant ‘point blank refused’ to do this and he resisted arrest.

Opposing bail, the officer said that Turkey had been on the red list for the last 12 months and there is nowhere else the defendant can go except into a hotel to isolate as it is a government requirement.

The officer said McGinley had told police he could not afford to go into the hotel and had been doing lateral flow tests at home and did not believe he had to quarantine.

He added that once the isolation period is over police would not object to bail.

Defence solicitor Paddy McGurk said his client had returned from Turkey on Wednesday and had some confusion about the specific legislation.

“He felt that as he had flown into Dublin he wasn’t required to stay in a hotel to isolate. The reality of the situation is that he has no money to pay for the hotel, which I think costs £1,700,” the solicitor added.

Mr McGurk said it was a ‘very difficult situation’ and McGinley now faces the prospect of custody because he cannot afford the hotel.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused the application for bail, stating: “It would be perverse of me to release him on bail to his own address, knowing that the police would be obliged to go and arrest him again.”
He said that ‘very few people can afford to pay £1,700 to stay in a hotel after they come back from holiday’ but the court’s ‘don’t make the law, they only apply it.’

McGinley was remanded in custody until his isolation period is over. A further bail application will be made on August 16 via videolink.