A salon owner who put up a sign quoting the Magna Carta as she repeatedly defied lockdown could be fined £27,000.
Sinead Quinn, who owns Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, had previously been handed fines of £1,000 and £2,000 for refusing to close from November 5 as England was plunged into lockdown.
She was then visited by Kirklees Council on Saturday and issued a further £4,000 fine, before the police stopped by on Monday and Tuesday this week. They issued two further £10,000 fines after finding the sakon opening and trading.
Ms Quinn had previously shared videos of herself arguing with council officials and police on Instagram. In one video she could be seen telling them she didn’t ‘consent’ to the ‘unlawful’ fines, and citing ‘common law’ in her defence.
She also posted a sign on the door of the salon which cited the Magna Carta as a defence of her decision to remain open. Many people have began sharing Clause 61, the general defence of liberty’ of the 1215 charter in a bid to disobey Covid laws this year.
The clause offered 25 barons the right to lawfully dissent or rebel if they thought they were being governed unjustly. However, it didn’t survive subsequent versions of the charter and was never incorporated into English law, meaning it can’t be used as a legal defence.
On Tuesday Ms Quinn shared a picture of a police care outside the salon and captioned it: ‘This is what your tax paying money goes toward. Sitting outside my business whilst I’m lawfully earning a living.’ In another video she accused the police of ‘stalking’ her.
Kirklees is currently among the most infected areas in England, with a rate of 446.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to November 19.
The council said in a statement: ‘It is absolutely crucial for people’s safety that we all follow the latest Covid-19 rules and guidance.
‘Kirklees currently has the fifth highest rates in the country, with 135 people admitted to hospital last week and 25 sadly losing their lives to a Covid-19 related death.
‘The law set by the Government is there so we can bring infection rates down, ease pressure on our health services and save lives. But it only works if we all stick to it and realise that no one is above the law. Frankly, the actions taken by this business are selfish and irresponsible.
‘We will not hesitate to take action on anyone who breaches the rules that are in place to keep us all safe. Repeated breaches of Covid-19 regulations result in ever increasing fines up to £10,000 and eventually prosecution.’
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