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UK Man Briefly Removes Mask in Store, Ordered to Pay Hefty Fine of Rs 2 Lakh

Christopher O'Toole was fined £2000, or Rs 2 lakh, for removing his mask for about 16 seconds in a store in the UK.

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When the pandemic began countries all over the world began imposing mandates that stated that people had to wear masks when out in public. But things went a little too far when a man from the UK, Christopher O'Toole entered the B&M store and removed his mask for a brief moment and was given a hefty fine for it.

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According to a report by the Liverpool Echo, he removed it briefly as he began to feel unwell. As he was leaving the store, police officers approached him and had taken his name for not wearing a mask inside the store. The incident occurred in February of last year. In a statement, Christopher O'Toole said that he had no issue with wearing a mask in public and insisted that he had only briefly removed it as he was not feeling well.

A couple of days later, O’Toole received a letter from the ACRO Criminal Records Office that said that he was to pay a fine of £100. He sent a follow up email to the authorities and insisted that he was not ready to pay the fine for removing his mask for “something like 16 seconds.” In the beginning of December 2021, he received a response from the office after months of silence. The amount had been increased to £2,000. He again emailed them with an explanation that even his full wages would not be able to cover the fine.

After all this, he was informed that the incident had been forwarded to court without his knowledge. O'Toole had to sign a statutory declaration to show that he was not aware of it. Now, Christopher has to appear in court over the fine in February.

(With inputs from Liverpool Echo).

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