TWO men have been found not guilty of breaking coronavirus regulations over an alleged gathering in Bournemouth town centre.

Michael James John Stride, 41, and Joseph Ward, 30, were both accused of committing an offence in relation to events on November 21, 2020.

At the time the country was in a one-month period of lockdown.

Stride, of Rodwell Avenue, Weymouth, and Ward, of Anderson Close, Whitley, both denied the allegation of taking part in a gathering in a public outdoor place, namely Exeter Crescent, Bournemouth, which consisted of more than two people, without reasonable excuse, other than as permitted by the regulations.

They had entered these pleas in September last year and went on trial unrepresented at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Monday, September 26, where they were both found not guilty by deputy district judge Jodie Mittell.

The judge ordered that both defendants’ costs covering their personal expenses were to be paid from central funds although the amount of these expenses needed to be assessed.