The owner of an indepedent cinema who refused to comply with coronavirus rules and kept trading despite being ordered to shut has been handed a whopping £15,000 fine.
Cinema & Co in Swansea was told to shut by the Welsh Government and council bosses after owner Anna Redfern vowed to “take a stand” against the Covid pass sceheme – which applies to cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
And despite being told to obey the rules, Ms Redfern ignored a judge’s direction to shut up shop – and promptly re-opened.
The businesswoman, whose this week told supporters her own mother is seriously ill, found herself back in court again and risking a prison sentence for being in comtempt of court.
Prosecuting solicitor Lee Reynolds told Swansea Magistrates’ Court that Ms Redfern’s dogged refusal to follow public health rules, designed to stop the spread of Covid, was both “deliberate and concerted”.
He said: “It didn’t need to get this far, a simple indication that matters would be put right and Covid rules would be adhered to would have satisfied the local authority.
“It has been a deliberate and concerted effort designed only to frustrate the attempt by the local authority to ensure compliance.
“These proceedings have been expensive, they need not have been.”
Cinema & Co, which also hosts a variety of events and gatherings, was initially ordered to shut by Swansea Council and Welsh Government officials on November 19 for alleged Covid rule breaches after the venue announced it would not enforce the Covid pass scheme.
Owner Ms Redfern vowed previously to “take a stand” against the new measures facing cinemas, theatres and concert halls, describing them as “discriminatory and unlawful”.