Man fined £1,400 after coronavirus lockdown party at his flat

A man who threatened to kill a neighbour for trying to break up his flat party during lockdown has been fined more than £1,000.

Janis Zalitis, 29, saw red after a getting a note saying the police would be called unless his guests were sent home in order to comply with government social distancing rules.

He stormed out of his Guernsey apartment and began pounding on his victim’s door demanding he come outside, screaming: ‘I don’t care about coronavirus.’

The alcohol-fuelled tirade prompted Judge Graeme McKerrell to remark: ‘If that is true and it wasn’t just something said in drink, then quite frankly you are an idiot.’

Zalitis, of St Peter Port, Guernsey, admitted behaving in a disorderly manner and was £1,200.

He was also ordered to pay £200 in relation to a previous bind-over for being drunk in a public place.

Guernsey Magistrates’ Court heard that the neighbour, who lived in a flat in the same building as Zalitis, thought it sounded as though there were several people in his room and slipped a note inside saying they had to leave.

When police arrived they found a drunk Zalitis inside with another man who lived in the building.

Prosecutor Chris Dunford said the neighbour was left terrified by the threats, but Zalitis later told police he didn’t mean them.

Judge McKerrell told Zalitis he was not convinced by the apology.

He said: ‘I am struggling to accept that you do understand the seriousness of, not only your situation, but also the danger your idiotic comments pose, because if it is what you believe then you pose a real risk to society.’

Defending, Samuel Steel Zalitis had been upset after losing his new job at a restaurant which was closed due to the outbreak.

He claimed he mistook the note saying ‘everyone’ had to leave as an ultimatum to vacate the room entirely.

But the judge dismissed the excuses, noting that Zalitis’ employer had offered to keep the job open for him and even offered to give him money to pay the rent and get some essentials in.

Judge McKerrell added that the victim had been right to contact police and was to be congratulated.

He fined Zalitis £1,200 for disorderly behaviour and a further £200 for breaching the bind-over.