Sussex Police issued a further 258 Covid fines over the weekend as thousands of people flocked to the county to soak up the sun.

New data from the National Police Chiefs' Council also shows that 1,618 Covid fines were handed out by the force between March 27 last year and February 14.

This shows there have been plenty of people willing to push the limits of lockdown laws to meet with others or travel around the country.

But some have had the gall to try and talk their way out of a fine after being caught flouting the rules by police.

Here are some of the strangest excuses officers have heard over the last few months:

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Police have received some bizarre excuses from Covid rule-breakers in recent months

1. The job interview of my dreams

Police stopped a driver in Brighton on the weekend of February 27.

When they asked the man, who was from outside the area, why he was in the city, he told officers he had been to a job interview on a building site.

"Quick checks were done, there was no building site," Sussex Police said.

He was fined.


2. Southampton pair wanted to 'see the sea'

A hapless pair were slapped with Covid fines after driving to "see the sea" in Sussex - despite the fact they lived in a coastal Hampshire city.

The Southampton duo were caught by roads police as they raced along the A27 at Arundel at more than 90mph on the morning of Sunday, February 28.

Arundel is about five miles inland.

Both the driver and the passenger were issued with £200 Covid fines for breaching lockdown restrictions. The driver was also fined for speeding


3. Sounds like a bad idea

Two men were fined for flouting lockdown laws after travelling from London to Hove to buy a pair of headphones.

The pair were swiftly turned around after being caught by Sussex Police in early February, and issued fines for their troubles.

In the same week, officers also fined a woman who said she had travelled from London to Brighton for a "photo shoot", and a group who said they had gathered for a 21st birthday party in Brighton.


4. That excuse just won't cut it

A hairdresser continued carrying out home visits despite being told to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Hastings man was hit with a fine by police on the weekend of January 9 after "wilfully disregarding" Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The man, who travelled to people's homes to cut and style their hair in spite of the alarmingly high infection rate across the Sussex at the time, has not been named by police.


Police stock picture

Police have received some bizarre excuses from Covid rule-breakers in recent months

5. Sorry officer, I was travelling to my fictitious business

On the same weekend, officers stopped a speeding driver from Surrey who claimed he was rushing to reach his business in Brighton, where an alarm was going off.

However, when he could not provide "any legitimate details of the premises or an address" for the site, police deemed he did not have a reasonable excuse for making an essential journey and he was fined.

6. Car park music video proves costly

A music producer was slapped with the maximum fine of £10,000 for organising a gathering of more than 30 people during lockdown in January.

But, far from the glitz and glam associated with the music world, the producer had in fact invited the group to film a music video on the sixth floor of the Trinity Place car park in Eastbourne.

They had full music and filming equipment and most of the group were not obeying social distancing rules or wearing face masks, Sussex Police said.

A member of the group was also given a £200 fine after refusing to comply with requests to leave.


7. Pier pressure made me do it

A man was caught making the 81-mile trip from London to Brighton see the city's Palace Pier in February.

The attraction has been closed throughout the third, ongoing national lockdown.

He was issued with a Covid fine, along with several others during the week of February 15.

Sussex Police stopped four people who had travelled by car from London's Canary Wharf to Birling Gap to “go sightseeing”.

And two people, not from the same household, drove from Uckfield to Brighton Marina to go to McDonald’s “because they were hungry”.


police stock

Police have received some bizarre excuses from Covid rule-breakers in recent months

8. Would you like a fine with that?

Bar staff and visitors at a restaurant ducked for cover after police caught them flouting coronavirus lockdown rules.

Officers spotted a group of people inside the site in Forest Row on January 14, as well as a member of staff behind the bar.

But, when the offenders realised they had been seen by police, they ran and attempted to hide from view.

The owners of the restaurant were hit with a fine for the flagrant breach of Covid restrictions.


9. Exercise class leader with infectious enthusiasm

A woman was arrested for organising a "beach boogie" during lockdown.

Police were called to St Leonards seafront on January 6 after Deborah Cutting tried to host an illegal dance gathering.

The 54-year-old admitted breaching the Coronavirus Act when she appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

She “refused to cease and leave the area” the court was told, and then “refused to give personal details in order for the matter to be dealt with by other means”.

Cutting, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, had organised an event called “Boogie on the Beach”.