Coronavirus: first lockdown evader given community service
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    Coronavirus: first lockdown evader given community service

    Brussels prosecutors said lockdown offenders were brought before authorities on a daily basis. © LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/ BELGA

    The first offender of the lockdown measures against the coronavirus pandemic was sentenced to provide community service by a Brussels court on Friday.

    The 23-year-old defendant will be brought before a court after being caught in violation of social distancing guidelines on 29 March in the municipality of Molenbeek.

    “The vast majority of the population makes an enormous effort and stays inside, with a community service order he can now give something back to society,” prosecutors said, according to De Standaard.

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    Officers arrested the man because he had already been written up and issue a fine for failing to observe the lockdown measures in at least four previous occasions.

    While the man disputed accusations that he enticed bystanders to turn against the police officers who had stopped him, he conceded he had not respected the lockdown measures before but said he would do so from now on.

    His arrest coincided with that of a minor who was arrested in a separate incident also in Molenbeek, who was put back under the custody of juvenile authorities.

    Prosecutors on Friday said that people were brought before authorities on a daily basis for failing to observe the lockdown rules imposed to slow down the spread of the virus.

    “It always concerns people who have been caught red-handed several times,” prosecutors said.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times