Dale McLaughlan, 28, had never driven a jet ski before he set off for the 25-mile trip from the Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey on Friday. The journey took him four and a half hours to finish, Douglas Courthouse heard.
He’d previously met his girlfriend while working on the island as a roofer for four weeks in September, but his ensuing applications to return had been rejected.
Prosecutors said he’d believed the trip by jet ski would take him about 40 minutes.
Once McLaughlan arrived, he trekked another 15 miles to his girlfriend’s home in Douglas and gave a police officer her address as his own the next day.
The court heard she believed he’d been on the island for several weeks, and the pair went to two nightspots together after his arrival.
Police arrested him on Sunday evening following identification checks.
The court heard he was suffering from depression and had been struggling without his partner.
McLaughlan, a father of two, admitted arriving on the island unlawfully, as he didn’t have clearance to enter the British Crown dependency under existing COVID laws. He was imprisoned for four weeks.
Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith told him he had made a calculated and deliberate attempt to circumnavigate constraints put in place to protect the island.
He also commented that the trip had put McLauglan at very real risk of harm, as he journeyed across the Irish Sea unprotected.
McLaughlan’s mother Allison said she didn’t know what her son had planned on doing until she saw his arrest in the news and she told a news outlet that she didn’t even know about the jet ski and that she just didn’t know why he did it, he could have killed himself and she added that he’ll be missing his children over Christmas.
But that’s dedication for you, he should have been given an accolade, yet he was imprisoned. He should have been given a pat on the back for the effort.
Four and a half hours on a jet ski, well she must be awesome in the sack, but there’s no way he travelled four and a half hours and then travelled 15 miles, he would have been knackered, oh and then went out clubbing it up.
Nobody is going to be of any use to their partner after four and a half hours on a jet ski – did he have a box of milk tray? And at least he would have been social distancing, there was no one near him but the sea.
And this is a prisonable offence? All because the Isle of Man has its regulations and entering without authorisation isn’t permitted because of its COVID restrictions and the island is closed to normal visitors – bit harsh don’t you think?
This was pure dedication, perhaps she should marry him and who said romance was dead, bless him.
This is a harsh punishment for quite a romantic story and it’s a shame he will be in jail over Christmas, although I’m sure his girlfriend was a wee bit complicit in this.
If only he’d gone to Durham Castle instead, Dominic Cummings got away with it, yet this poor man got put in jail. Hail Dominic Cummings and put him in prison as well then, because what’s good for one is good for another.
Perhaps we should call this guy Bond… James Bond.
And I’m not sure what law he broke? The Government said your allowed out for a stroll, it didn’t stipulate where.