The man responsible for inviting four people to his house for a 'party' during lockdown "played ignorant" and "said he wasn't sure what he could and couldn't do", the police officer who responded to the call has said.

Aaron Harkness was fined more than £1,000 after inviting four people he didn't live with to his house in Guernsey Close, Popley, during the third lockdown on January 16.

Police officers attended the address and broke up the illegal gathering after several reports of a house party.

Now, in court documents obtained by The Gazette, one of the police officers who attended the address has revealed what he saw when he was called out.

PC Jordan Janaway described how when he entered the living room of the address on Friday, January 16, he saw Harkness and four males "sat on the sofa, facing the TV and playing video games".

He and PC Monday attended the address at 10.10pm, almost two hours after the first report of the party came in.

In a witness statement submitted to Aldershot Magistrates' Court, PC Janaway states how Harkness said that it was just him and his partner in, but when they asked to come in and check, he added words to the effect of "oh and our friend who has been staying with us through lockdown".

The statement continues: "As we entered the living room I saw Harkness, [and four individuals whose names have been redacted] all sat on the sofa, facing the TV and playing video games as some were holding controllers in their hands.

"PC Monday immediately challenged the males and told them that if they did not live at the address then they needed to leave, if anyone was to be untruthful then we would look to issue them with fixed penalty notices."

The four males then got up from the sofa and went to leave.

PC Janaway said that one male "was unsure as to the restrictions, he said that he spoke with an officer the other day who said that he was allowed to leave the home if they were working on cars etc as this was his job. I informed [redacted] that whilst you are allowed to leave your home for work, this does not stretch to coming to your friend's house to play video games."

Speaking of another attendee, the statement continued: "[Redacted] stated that he does not watch the news and so he did not know what he was now allowed to do. I educated [redacted] as per national guidelines at the time and that leaving his home to play video games was not an essential reason to leave his home.

"[Redacted], being only 17 years of age, was accepting of this advice."

As the names have been withheld by the court, it is not known whether this is one person or multiple.

After the four males left, PCs Janaway and Monday spoke with Harkness and his partner. "Harkness stated that he thought they were allowed in his bubble.

"It was explained to him that as he does not live alone, he is not entitled to a support bubble, nor would he be allowed a support bubble to be formed by that amount of different people, who also do not live alone.

"Both Harkness and [his partner] were given advice reference the national guidance at the time.

"When speaking to the couple, [Harkness' partner] appeared very embarrassed and as though she had tried to tell Harkness this but that he hadn't listened.

"Harkness played ignorant and said that he wasn't sure what he could and couldn't do. He was advised that during a global pandemic it was his responsibility to know what he could do, particularly when it was at his home address."

The police officers then left the address, but the now 28-year-old called police the following day to "say that his friends had come into the house to help on the car, they got oil on their hands and came inside to wash them".

"I would say that this is incorrect as when we entered the house, all the males were sat on the sofa, had video game controllers in their hands and there was a video game on the TV screen in front of them," the police constable continued.

"There was also a delay of around two hours from when the initial report was made and when we attended."

Harkness's case was heard at a behind-closed-doors single justice procedure hearing at Aldershot Magistrates' Court in September, after he failed to pay a fixed penalty notice.

He was fined a total of £1,046.