A lovesick Romeo roofer who was jailed for breaking coronavirus restrictions after riding on a jet ski from Scotland to the Isle of Man to see his girlfriend has been refused re-entry into the country.
Dale McLaughlan, 28, had been provided with an exemption certificate issued in the economic interests of the island which allowed him to enter the Isle of Man in September.
He had travelled to the island to complete a construction project that had begun before the pandemic and it was during this time he met his now girlfriend, Jessica Radcliffe, 30.
Ms Radcliffe has claimed that her boyfriend was due to return to the island on January 11 to carry out further roofing work.
However, it has been confirmed that the authorities have refused to issue him with another exemption certificate to allow him back after he broke coronavirus guidelines.
Dale McLaughlan, 28, broke coronavirus guidelines when he travelled from Scotland to the Isle of Man earlier this month
The roofer made the treacherous journey across the Irish Sea to visit his girlfriend Jessica Radcliffe (pictured), 30
McLaughlan saved up to buy himself a jet ski and then towed it 70 miles from his home to a beach in the Isle of Whithorn
His original exception certificate, which covered his stay from September 13 to October 2, stated he had to self-isolate at all times outside of work and only travel to authorised locations – his place of work and accommodation – for 14 days following his arrival.
However, Ms Radcliffe, a mother-of-two, revealed she had met McLaughlan on September 19 and again on September 25 – both within 14 days of his arrival on the island.
McLaughlan then made two further applications for exemption prior to his visit this month – which were both turned down- before embarking on his treacherous journey.
Non-residents seeking to the enter the Isle of Man can be issued with an exemption certificate if it is in the public interest.
Once the application is granted, visitors will also need to complete a landing card and health declaration prior to their entry.
On December 23, McLaughlan, a self-employed roofer, returned to Scotland after serving just under half of his four-week jail term for breaching the island’s Covid regulations.
Ms Radcliffe (left with McLaughlan) met her boyfriend when he travelled to the island to complete a construction project earlier this year
McLaughlan(pictured leaving the the Isle of Man by ferry)was jailed for four weeks for breaching the island’s coronavirus restrictions
Jailing McLaughlan for four weeks, Deputy High Bailiff Chris Arrowsmith told him: ‘Not only did you place the population of the Isle of Man at risk, but you put yourself at significant risk of harm.’
Ms Radcliffe previously praised her boyfriend’s endeavours
The court heard that McLaughlan had no experience of operating jet skis and the Deputy High Bailiff pointed out that the emergency services might have been called out to rescue him.
‘This demonstrates the foolishness of his conduct,’ said the Deputy High Bailiff.
The self-employed roofer, of Irvine, Scotland, had met his girlfriend in the 1886 bar in Douglas in September when he was in the island, lawfully, for work purposes.
After travelling back to Scotland he had twice applied for an exemption to travel to the island to see her again, but when he was turned down on both occasions, he took matters into his own hands.
McLaughlan saved up to buy himself a jet ski, which he did so the day before his trip to the Isle of Man, and then towed it 70 miles from his home to a beach in the Isle of Whithorn.
He then embarked on a treacherous 25-mile jet ski journey across the Irish Sea on December 11 to see his girlfriend.
He had expected the 25-mile trip to take 40 minutes but due to bad weather it took him four-and-a-half-hours.
After eventually making landfall, he then had to trek another 15 miles on foot before finally arriving at his lover’s home in Douglas, the island’s largest town.
On Christmas day Ms Radcliffe posed with a giant box of the Cadbury chocolates and compared her boyfriend to the Milk Tray man
McLaughlan (left) admitting arriving unlawfully on the island to see his girlfriend (right). He had expected the 25-mile trip to take 40 minutes but it took him four-and-a-half-hours
The map shows the 25-mile trip McLaughlan made from Scotland to the Isle of Man on December 11
McLaughlan’s jet ski was left on the beach at Ramsey harbour, Isle of Man after completing his four hour journey
A coastguard spotted McLaughlan launch his jet ski from the slipway (above) at the Isle of Whithorn
The roofer had just ten minutes of fuel left in his tank when he arrived to the island, a police source told iomtoday.
The Covid situation on the Isle of Man
On the Isle of Man there have been just 373 confirmed Covid-19 cases since March, with four active cases at the moment and none in hospital.
For those on the island, the government has lifted all restrictions on public life.
Its website says: ‘Any legal requirement for social distancing in our community was removed on 15 June.
‘Businesses are no longer legally required to take steps in relation to social distancing, such as encouraging employees to work from home, or limiting the number of customers in shops.’
However, there are still strict border rules, which the government admits are likely to stay in force ‘for some time to come’.
The current ‘Level 4’ system allows those who live on the island to make non-essential journeys beyond, but must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning.
However, those who don’t live on the island must complete a registration form and be granted an entry certificate to be allowed in
His partner was unaware of what he had done and believed that he was on the island for work purposes
When he was arrested MsLaughlan told police that he had taken a Covid test four days before he had travelled and it had come back negative.
He also said he was prepared to take a second test.
It is understood that the tests came back negative.
In a statement, the police said: ‘The circumstances have been investigated and Public Health are satisfied there is no wider risk to the public.’
This month McLaughlan pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to comply with the emergency powers regulations by entering the island without an exemption notice or entry permit.
Speaking previously about his endeavours, Ms Radcliffe, a healthcare worker, said: ‘I’ve had messages from all over the world. People have said, ‘What he did is heroic. You should marry that man.
‘If he asks me, I’ll say yes. It’s definitely a story to tell our grandkids.’
Speaking at her home in Irvine thos month, McLaughlan’s mother Allison told the Daily Record: ‘I didn’t even know about the jet ski. I just don’t know why he did it – he could have killed himself.’
The Isle of Man’s current ‘Level 4’ system allows those who live on the island to make non-essential journeys beyond, but must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning.
However, those who do not live on the island must complete a registration form and be granted an entry/exemption certificate to be allowed in.
On Christmas day, Ms Radcliffe took to social media to compare her boyfriend to the Milk Tray man
Ms Radcliffe posed with a giant box of the Cadbury chocolates for a Facebook picture at her home alongside the caption: ‘All because a lady loves Milk Tray, sorry I couldn’t help myself.’
Her daring lover showed his approval for the picture, with the comment: ‘God damn Xxxxxx.’
The Milk Tray adverts famously featured a chisel-jawed hero dressed in black carrying out daring escapades, such as jumping off a cliff, fighting off sharks and wolves and escaping an avalanche on skis, just to secretly deliver chocolates to his sweetheart, along with a calling card.
The adverts screened from 1968 until 2003 finished with the slogan: ‘And all because, the lady loves Milk Tray’.