Organiser of Leyton rave fined

A 37-year-old man who held an illegal rave for hundreds of people in Leyton and was trying to organise another has been fined £10,000.

Abhishek Beltharia, of Thornton Heath in Croydon, organised a rave for between 150 and 200 people at a warehouse on Argyll Avenue on August 31.

Police and council officers who visited the venue again on September 8 found evidence he was planning another event, including a fully-stocked bar, DJ equipment and lighting.

A photo of the bar menu for the event shows attendees would have been charged £5 for a single mixed drink and £7.50 for a double.

Deputy leader Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “This is a stellar example of joint partnership work between enforcement and Police officers to stop a mass illegal gathering.

“I want to thank residents and businesses who are working so hard to follow regulations but I want to underline – as this fixed penalty notice shows – that there will be serious consequences for anyone who flouts the rule in the face of this global pandemic and endangers public health.”

Beltharia was fined £10,000 under new coronavirus laws on November 25.

A council spokesperson said licensing officers are also considering enforcement action for selling alcohol without a licence.

Detective Chief Inspector John Arnold said that, while COVID “continues to test public resolve and police resourcing”, police were determined to “tackle non-compliance”.

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter