London party

DJ Maressa Innerarity went raving amid Covid lockdown in east London | United Kingdom | News

Maressa Innerarity, who also goes by the name Carmen London, was yesterday fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £200 court costs after admitting involvement in the case of ‘around 200 people’ in a warehouse. The party took place on November 8, 2020, three days before an alleged party in Downing Street which took place on the same day that Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, and the director of communications, Lee Cain, left their functions.

Innerarity, 33, pleaded guilty to the offense on the first day of a trial at the City of London Magistrates’ Court as the Prime Minister’s job hangs in the balance.

The court heard that, although Innerarity did not organize the event, it had brought its own sound system – a DJ deck and two speakers – to the Bethnal Green industrial site, east of London.

Prosecutors said that was enough to charge him with organizing or helping to organize a rave-style gathering in England of more than 30 people indoors.

District Judge Tim Godfrey said those who attended the rave behaved in an “extremely selfish manner”.

Condemning the woman, he added: “It is difficult to imagine an event more likely to spread Covid-19 than the type of event organized on this occasion.

“What the participants may have been willing to risk was not just their own health and well-being, they risked the health and well-being of others with whom they might come into contact through the suite and they may be more vulnerable.

“Those who witnessed this event were acting extremely selfishly.

“It was a noisy gathering for all intents and purposes, a rave was held there. It was disturbing enough for the neighbors that the police were called.”

Nathan Paine-Davey, prosecuting, confirmed Met Police were called to a noise complaint by a resident at 1.30am. The neighbor said the music had been on for 11 p.m.

The lawyer added: “This relates to November 7 and 8. The defendant was charged with a breach of the Coronavirus Public Protection Restrictions Regulations which were in force on November 5, 2020.

“On November 8, police were called to Poyser Street following a noise complaint from a resident of the building. They believed there was some sort of event going on.

“When the police arrived they met local officers and they could hear loud music coming from the place and around 50-60 people on the street leading to the place.

“A cordon was placed in the street. At this point, the police entered the building and stopped the unauthorized musical event. “180 to 200 people are believed to have been on the premises. It’s described as a squat – it’s a warehouse type building with very low ceilings.”

The court saw footage carried by police showing attendees “walking out” of the venue after officers closed the event.

Mr Davey-Paine said: “She accepted at the scene that the music equipment was indeed hers and she was then warned that she could well be prosecuted under the regulations.

“Obviously, it was unlikely that so many people would gather in such a space just to chat.

“I’m not saying that the defendant organized it, but the presence of her musical equipment and, obviously, she was once employed as a disc jockey. There is no evidence that she was in fact using this equipment.”

Eric Kawoya, defending, said Innerarity was asked by two friends named “Gabriel and Jamal” if they could borrow his sound equipment.

He told the court that his client had no idea the equipment would be used for a party.

Mr Kawoya said: “She packed them in the car and drove to the venue. She was not told what type of function was taking place. When she arrived at the venue at the time the place was empty, but over time people started arriving.

“She had reason to worry and she asked what was going on and they told her not to worry. She then stuck around. She didn’t receive any kind of money for it.

“She couldn’t leave because she feared for the safety of the speakers and the damage to the speakers.”

The court heard that Innerarity had not operated for two years and was under Universal Credit.

Innerarity has previously appeared on BBC Radio 1Xtra and describes herself in her Twitter bio, under the name Carmen London, as an “international DJ, 1Xtra presenter, entrepreneur and multiple award winner”.

She announced that she would be DJing for Radio 1Xtra on Christmas 2019 on the social media site. Innerarity, of Tooting, south London, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and an additional £100.