A man has been fined after claiming he drove 300 miles in lockdown to take pictures of planets from Snowdon when he was caught with his trousers round his ankles in a north Wales lay-by.
Police were called to reports to two men lying on the ground by the side of the road in Betws-y-Coed on December 21.
When they arrived, Filip Petrik, 31, tried to remove one of their face masks and asked: ‘Do you want to suck my d**k?’
He then proceeded to walk around in just his underpants, ignoring any instructions given to him, slurring his speech and appearing unsteady.
He was taken to St Asaph police station to sober up and the following morning said that he had driven from Southampton two days earlier to go camping and do some photography.
The Great Conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn was taking place during Petrik’s planned stay in North Wales. He would have been able to see Uranus with an optical aid the night after his arrest if he hadn’t been ordered back to his home in Southampton.
He claimed not to know what tier his home city was in and was unaware that travel to Wales had been banned.
His solicitor, Jamie Gammon, told Llandudno Magistrates’ Court ‘He had heard there was a configuration of planets and there would be a good view from Snowdon.’
He conceded that his behaviour in the lay-by was bizarre, adding that he was seriously embarrassed and regretted what he had done.
He added: ‘If fault lies, it lies with him for not checking the circumstances (of the rules) and for being intoxicated. It was disgraceful behaviour.’
Petrik was fined a total of £745 for being drunk and disorderly and £500 for breaching Covid regulations.
Magistrate Hilary Owen told him: ‘Your actions on December 21, 2020, were negligent and reckless at the very least.
‘You breached the coronavirus regulations that had been put in place to protect people.
‘Your behaviour potentially put the local population at significant risk and cannot be tolerated.’
The magistrates also ordered Petrik to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.