A police officer who admitted breaching strict Covid regulations by travelling more than 20 miles for a walk in Snowdonia with his partner and her autistic child was fined £600.

Mark Lee, 43, of Porthmadog, a North Wales PC, once featured in Channel 5’s “Police Code Zero : Officer Under Attack” series after being hit by a car at a filling station.

He pleaded guilty to being outside of the place where he was living at Colwyn Bay on December 29 without reasonable excuse.

District judge Gwyn Jones at Llandudno court fined Lee and ordered him to pay £760 costs.

Judge Jones said he had travelled to the Ogwen Valley for exercise. “At that stage we were all obliged to take our exercise locally,” the judge said. “We were all in the middle of a difficult period in our time when Covid-19 was going through our communities.”

Helen Hall, prosecuting, said Lee had been on long-term sick leave since August last year.

But on the afternoon of December 29 a police sergeant spoke with him at the One Stop filling station at Llandegai, near Bangor.

The sergeant had asked him whether he should be self-isolating as he previously tested positive for the virus.

Mrs Hall said Lee told his colleague he wasn’t displaying any symptoms and there was no requirement to self-isolate. He was later quizzed and it emerged he had left his partner’s address at Colwyn Bay and been for a walk at Cwm Idwal.

Exercise should have started and finished at the place he was living. “There were plenty of other open spaces where he could have exercised,” the prosecutor remarked. Lee claimed he was unaware the regulations had come into force, despite extensive publicity.

“Ignorance of the law is no defence,” Mrs Hall added.

Richard Orme, defending, said Lee had gone for a walk in the wrong place. His guilty plea would result in the loss of his job that he had for many years, the lawyer said.

Lee had been suffering with his mental health. “As soon as his termination with the police takes effect, he will be unemployed,” Mr Orme said.

“He’s aware officers, locally and nationally, have issued tickets for such breaches. He readily accepts he must abide by those regulations, too,” he added.