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Salon owner in Covid hotspot who stayed open during lockdown is hit with fines totalling £27,000

A salon owner could be fined £27,000 after refusing to close during lockdown and quoting the Magna Carta to justify the rule breach, it has been revealed. 

Sinead Quinn, who owns Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, West Yorks., initially faced a fine of £4,000 for repeated breaches over the weekend.

But council officers visited her shop Monday and yesterday and issued two further £10,000 fines after they found it was still open and trading.

The salon had previously been slapped with a fines of £1,000 and £2,000 for defying government orders to close from November 5 in the face of rising Covid-19 cases.

Kirklees Council said it visited the business on Saturday and issued a £4,000 fine.

Sinead Quinn (pictured), who owns Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, West Yorks., initially faced a fine of £4,000 for repeated breaches over the weekend

They said police visited on Monday and found the salon to be open again, so a further £10,000 fine was issued.

It came on the back of a prohibition notice to close and fines totalling £3,000.

During earlier visits by authorities she told them she did not ‘consent’ to coronavirus closure laws and was hit with on the spot fines for breaching the regulations.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said the salon had opened on Saturday, Monday and yesterday – in a region which has among the highest Covid infection rates in England.

The spokesman said: ‘The business was open and trading again so they have been issued with a further £10,000 fine which means the total is now £27,000.’

Council officers visited her shop (pictured) Monday and yesterday and issued two further £10,000 fines after they found it was still open and trading

Council officers visited her shop (pictured) Monday and yesterday and issued two further £10,000 fines after they found it was still open and trading

‘We are now in the process of exploring alternative action.’

The council condemned the actions of the business owner as ‘selfish and irresponsible.’

Earlier this month, Ms Quinn posted videos on Instagram showing her arguing with council officials who had visited her salon to see if it was complying with the rules.

In one video she told officials that she did not ‘consent’ to being fined and cited ‘common law’.

She had previously posted a sign on the salon door which cited Magna Carta in defence of her decision to keep trading.

Earlier this month, Ms Quinn posted videos on Instagram showing her arguing with council officials who had visited her salon to see if it was complying with the rules. Pictured, a message she posted recently

Earlier this month, Ms Quinn posted videos on Instagram showing her arguing with council officials who had visited her salon to see if it was complying with the rules. Pictured, a message she posted recently

Kirklees has among the highest coronavirus infection rates in England with a rate of 446.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to November 19.

Kirklees Council said in a statement that it understands how tough the pandemic has been for local businesses.

But it added: ‘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.’

In a series of Instagram videos, Ms Quinn insists she is not breaking any laws and does not consent to any fines issued when visited by cops and council officers.

A post on the salon’s Instagram page today, showing a police car parked on the road outside the business, reads: ‘This is what your tax paying money goes toward. Sitting outside my business whilst I’m LAWFULLY earning a living.’

Mrs Quinn declined to comment when approached.

Clause 61 — a general defence of liberty — was entered into the Magna Carta in 1215 and removed a year later. It offered 25 barons the right to lawfully dissent or rebel if they thought they were being governed unjustly. 

It was never incorporated into English law and cannot be used as a defence in court.


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