‘It’s disheartening’ - Neighbours react after house party sees students fined £10,000

Derrick and Ena Betts of Bowthorpe Road in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Derrick and Ena Betts of Bowthorpe Road in Norwich. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Neighbours to a Norwich house where more than 100 people broke coronavirus laws by having a party have described feeling disheartened that the rules were so flagrantly disregarded under their noses.

Three UEA students were each fined £10,000 after having a party with up to 100 people on Bowthorpe R

Three UEA students were each fined £10,000 after having a party with up to 100 people on Bowthorpe Road. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

In the early hours of Sunday morning, police dispersed a gathering of more than 100 people at a home on Bowthorpe Road in Norwich and have since issued penalty notices to three University of East Anglia students for organising the party.

Two 19-year-old women and one 20-year-old woman have been charged £10,000 for their roles in organising the illegal party, which was broken up by police at around 1.10am on Sunday, October 11.

Now, those living in houses nearby have reacted to the news, describing their own experiences of the event and how they feel to be living so close to where the party took place.

One 19-year-old woman, a fellow UEA student, said: “What is most disheartening is that it will have worsened what people think of students in general. It will give all us students a bad name.”

Another 19-year-old female student said: “We walked past at around 11.45pm on Saturday and saw lots of heads through the window - although we couldn’t really hear anything once we got back to our own house.

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“When we found out we couldn’t really believe there was quite that many people there.”

Derrick and Ena Betts have lived on Bowthorpe Road for more than 60 years and said they were woken up by noise from revellers at the gathering.

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Mrs Betts, 86, said: “We didn’t realise quite how many people were there but it was the noise that woke us up. We didn’t report it but somebody certainly did as the police showed up.

“To be honest, it doesn’t make you feel very good to know the rules were broken - it definitely doesn’t set a very good example.”

Mr Betts, 87, said: “Obviously we want people to abide by the law, but nobody was hurt and it didn’t sound like an aggressive party at all. Live and let live, is what I always say.”

A 20-year-old male UEA student added: “There was quite a lot of commotion when the police were called. Even if it was a small gathering that’s bad but something that big just isn’t really fair when other people have been abiding by the rules.”

A spokesman for the UEA said: “We fully support the actions of the police. Students, like everyone else, have to adhere to the law and where there is a breach of the rules they should expect to face the same consequences as others in the community.

“We have issued regular reminders about following the rules to all students both on and off campus and in addition to the police action we will also be looking into this matter and taking appropriate action. In the vast majority of cases our students are behaving responsibly.”

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