A MAN who flouted coronavirus restrictions three times by allowing pals into his garden has criticised the lockdown rules.

After being fined £500 by Bolton magistrates Ben Gorman complained: "I wouldn't have people in my house, but outside I personally don't think it's needed.

"Some people are taking it overboard. You can't have people in your house but you can go and sit in a pub with six people."

Magistrates heard how police first went to Gorman's Moss Bank Way home on April 13

"At the time he was in his front garden and there were some other males with him who didn't reside at the address and they were all standing within two metres of each other," said Jade Coleman, prosecuting.

After being advised of the Covid-19 restrictions the men left.

But Mrs Coleman said that when police returned again, more people from other households were in the garden.

"Again Mr Gorman was warned about the restrictions and the reasons for them being in place and he accepted this and said it wouldn't happen again," she said.

But then, on the afternoon of April 20, police went to Gorman's house again after reports of off-road bikes being driven around Johnson Fold.

"There were at least three males sitting at Mr Gorman's address, all wearing off road bike attire and sitting within two metres of each other," said Mrs Coleman.

Gorman was given a £60 fixed penalty fine but did not pay and so was taken to court.

Representing himself, 34-year-old Gorman, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to breaching the coronavirus restrictions.

He told magistrates that, on the third occasion, the other men had only gathered at his home because they were on their way to go off-road biking and he claimed police were harassing him by repeatedly stopping outside his home.

Gorman lives with his partner and five children, one of whom is disabled.

Magistrates were not impressed with his behaviour and fined him £500 plus £119 in costs and charges.

Chairman Lindsay Charidemou told him: "The Covid regulations are there for a reason and you have just told us that you have a child with disabilities.

"You should have been following the strict guidelines of the lockdown at that time, shielding your family, not having males in your garden.

"The police had to come three times. This is just not acceptable. Do you understand what seriousness you put your whole family in? You, really, at your age, should know better.

"Make sure you follow the guidelines for everyone's benefit."