A TEENAGER wrongly convicted under new coronavirus laws due to an ‘administration error’ has had his conviction overturned.

Earlier this month the Oxford Mail reported how Lewis Brown had been handed a fine for allegedly flouting lockdown rules after going to visit his mum.

The 18-year-old of Sherwood Place, Oxford, pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court to one count of ‘failing to comply with a direction imposed under the Coronavirus Act.’

READ AGAIN: The original report from court.

Following the report from court and an investigation by civil liberties group Big Brother Watch prosecutors have now dropped the case after it became apparent Mr Brown had been charged under the wrong law.

The correct charge should have been brought under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 and this newspaper understands that the mistake was caused by an ‘administration error.’

Explaining the decision to withdraw the case the Crown Prosecution Service said it was continually reviewing all charges brought under the new legislation.

A spokesperson said: “We are working with all police forces and prosecutors to make sure the new Coronavirus Act and Regulations are being correctly applied.

“As these are exceptional powers being used, the CPS is continuously reviewing all of the charges brought, and in this case we conducted a joint review with the police.

“We have now withdrawn the charge against Mr Brown of failing to comply with a direction imposed under the Coronavirus Act and advised the court that, as he had already spent time in custody, it was not in the public interest to restart proceedings under the correct provisions.”

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Also responding to the case Thames Valley Police, who made the initial arrest, said the force had provided further training in the wake of the new laws.

A spokesperson said: “Any new legislation brings its own challenges, especially when operating in such challenging times and our officers and staff will continue to work tirelessly to protect the public by helping to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

“We have provided further guidance, training and briefing to our officers and we are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to scrutinise any charges brought under the new emergency legislation.”

At the original hearing it was said that Mr Brown had been spotted by police at an address in Oxford that was not his own on April 17.

Police had been investigating a separate matter and it was during those enquiries that officers saw the teenager go down a driveway to an address on Oxford Road that had no connection to him.

The court heard he had initially left that address earlier in order to give his vulnerable mother money. He was fined for a single count.

At the same court on Wednesday prosecutors withdrew the case and the conviction was ‘set aside.’