Moment officers batter down door & arrest man who fled from hotel isolation hours after his return to UK from Bahrain

THIS is the moment police battered down a door and arrested a man who fled from hotel isolation hours after returning from Bahrain to the UK.

Mathew Owens, 30, from Liverpool, flew back from the Middle East, where he works as a football coach, on April 9.

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On his return journey to the UK he made two transfers, to Abu Dhabi – which is on the government's travel 'red list' – and Frankfurt, before jetting back to Manchester.

Mr Owens says the Bahrain consulate told him he would be "fine" to travel through Abu Dhabi if he didn't leave the airport. 

But at Frankfurt International Airport, Mr Owens says he was told he faced a £1,750 hotel-quarantine bill in Birmingham, 100 miles from his home.    

After touching down in Manchester, police said they would escort him to a coach that would take him to Birmingham, he said. 


But Mr Owens said he refused to supply his details to G4S and said he would leave as soon as possible.

The footie coach, who works for one of Bahrain's Premier League sides, was warned he faced a £10,000 fine.

After phoning his parents, they drove from Liverpool and took him home, Mr Owens said. 

Footage posted online on April 12 shows cops smashing down his front door in Bootle on Monday afternoon.

An officer uses a battering ram to break down the door as they arrested Mr Owens for breaching Covid regulations.

Another video filmed by a woman from inside the house shows officers smashing glass as they force their way in.

Officers are heard asking where "Martin" is as they arrive to arrest Mr Owens beforea woman says he is "isolating".

The woman tells the officers "You're here to protect us" and asks "Are you standing under your oath?" and asks "where's your warrant".

A female officer is heard telling him: "Martin, you're under arrest for a breach of Covid regulations, you've failed to quarantine in a designated hotel when instructed to do so.   

"You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?"


A man can be heard replying "No I don't understand" before Mr Owens is led away.

Mr Owens, who is now in quarantine at the Crowne Plaza in Birmingham city centre, said he is "amazed at what has happened".

He said: "It makes no sense at all. If they were going to fine me, then so be it but what sense does it make to take me out of the controlled quarantined environment of my home, to mix with other people at the police station, and then to send me to Birmingham to mix with even more people.

"They also left my mum, who is disabled and vulnerable, without a front door.

"The police said they were there on behalf of Border Force. I told them I was isolating and had just sent off my first Covid test, which has returned negative.

I wasn't particularly scared when I was arrested. I was just astonished that they didn't need a warrant and could smash the door down.

“I was two days in and asked them what sense did it make to take me out of this environment at this stage.

“They just said they were there on behalf of Border Force and I needed to go to a hotel.

“We have a video doorbell and we could hear officers radioing back describing the door, so it was clear they were planning to break it down.”

He said he opened the window and asked if officers had a warrant, but was told they didn't need one.

Mr Owens added: "As they were coming up the stairs, they are shouting ”Martin, Martin” but my name is Mathew.

“When they went upstairs, one officer just pushed my mum out to the side

"I wasn't particularly scared when I was arrested. I was just astonished that they didn't need a warrant and could smash the door down.


"What astonished me even more was that I wasn't charged with anything. They literally broke into my house to hold me and pass me back to G4S.

"It just makes zero sense to take me out of an isolated environment to a police station, then to the hotel. The whole thing is just ludicrous."

He paid £650 to fly back from Bahrain after contacting the consulate.

He said: “I knew Abu Dhabi was on the red list, so I contacted the consulate to ensure that I was fine to travel there without having to quarantine.

“I was told that because I’d not stepped foot in Abu Dhabi and was just transferring through, I was fine.

“I literally walked off the plane, had my bags checked and went to the next gate. I was there for an hour-and-a-half.”

After landing in Manchester, he showed border control his forms and told them where he had travelled from.


Mr Owens added: “The officer told me because Abu Dhabi was on the red list, I’d have to be booked into a quarantine hotel for 10 days and the closest one was Birmingham.

“I told him that wasn’t the advice I’d received. I was then taken to a desk where I signed paperwork stating where I’d travelled from and that I could be subject to a £10,000 fine.

“I signed everything until I was given a form where I had to agree to one of the control quarantined hotels and pay £1,750 and allow G4S to escort me away.

“This is when I refused to give me consent.”

Mr Owens said he was detained for five hours in the airport before being driven to the Crowne Plaza hotel, in Birmingham.

After his arrest, G4S staff took him back to quarantine at the hotel, which he says is “awful”.

He was told he would be arrested and taking to court if he didn’t sign a consent form.

He added: “The room is a complete mess. It is filthy. It is dusty and they haven’t cleaned it since the last person was in it.

“The G4S staff aren’t wearing gloves, nothing is being wiped down and I’d be safer at home. I can’t wait to get out of here.”

Merseyside Police told Sun Online Mr Owens was cautioned and arrested for entering the UK and failing to isolate in a designated hotel, in breach of Covid-19 legislation.

A police spokesman said: "Merseyside Police was notified that a male, who had returned to the UK from Abu Dhabi on Friday 9th April, had absconded from an official Covid quarantine facility in the early hours of Saturday 10th April and returned to an address on Merseyside.

"At 3pm on Monday 12th April, after numerous other attempts, officers attended at an address in Homestead Avenue in Netherton to speak to the male.

"The male refused to answer the door of the property and officers gained entry using powers under the Health Protection Act 2020.

"A 30 year-old man was cautioned and arrested for entering the UK and failing to isolate in a designated hotel, in breach of Covid-19 legislation.

"He was issued with a Covid fine and handed over to Border Force authorities to be conveyed back to quarantine."

He was fined and handed to Border Force authorities to be taken back to quarantine.

Chief Inspector Chris Barnes said: “Merseyside Police was notified by the Border Force of a breach of Covid regulations in relation to a male who had left an official quarantine facility after returning to the UK from Abu Dhabi.

“The man refused to engage with officers and officers gained entry to the property and arrested him. He was then returned to quarantine."

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