Leeds YouTuber who travelled to Sheffield to film says his work is 'essential' and he won't pay Covid lockdown fine

A vlogger who has been fined three times for breaching lockdown to travel to cities including Sheffield to film insists he will not pay up - because the work he does is ‘essential’.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 12:17 pm

Marti Blagborough, 28, said his trips to a police station and prison in Lincoln along with similar trips to Sheffield and Scarborough were ‘essential’ despite living many miles away in Leeds.

The father-of-three said he made his living from filming videos and selling them on to other companies as part of his role at Pinac Media UK Ltd, which he set up last year.

But Lincolnshire Police disagreed and have slapped the 28-year-old and a fellow vlogger with £200 fines for visiting Lincoln on Monday.

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Marti Blagborough, 28, says his work is 'essential'.

Marti said: "We came into contact with one of the officers while we were at the police station.

"They asked us what we were doing and they spoke about Covid and I explained that I'm a director of a limited company.

"This is what I do, this is my job - and they're fine about it and left us.

"We headed over to HMP Lincoln and we were doing our videos there and then one of the same officers came back with three of his colleagues.

"And by this time he was happy to give us a Covid fine. It was kind of baffling.

"From the moment they got out of the car, just by their demeanour and the attitude, I knew it wasn't going to end well, I knew something was going to happen - I just wasn't sure what."

Marti, who has 25,000 followers on YouTube, frequently films 'auditing' videos in which he records government and military buildings to test his rights to film in certain places.

Cops issued him with a £200 as they did not deem his travel to the city essential.

Marti, from Farnley, Leeds, is already contesting two other fines issued to him in Sheffield and Scarborough for similar trips.

He added: "This is what I do for a living - it is essential for me to travel for work, because I cannot do these videos in my home. It's obviously not possible.

"I think it's super important because over the years a lot of our rights have been eroded by new legislation, and I just feel you have to stand for your rights because if you don't use them, you're probably going to lose them.

"Taking videos and pictures is a massive part of a lot of people's jobs and I think it'd be nice to get to a point where people no longer get hassled for doing their job and doing something they're legally entitled to do.

"I'm more than confident that I'll be able to win them because at the end of the day it is my job and there's no argument about that."

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said two men were handed fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid regulations.

Lincolnshire Police's Chief Inspector Andy Morrice said: “The majority of the public have worked with us and I thank them for that.

“With a virus spreading so rapidly through contact with others we should all be asking ourselves whether our reason to leave home is truly essential.

"In this case travelling was not deemed essential."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.