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Cinema Owner Fined £15,000 After Screening Conspiracy Movie

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Cinema Owner Fined £15,000 After Screening Conspiracy Movie

The owner of an independent cinema has been handed a £15,000 ($20,300) fine for failing to comply with coronavirus rules and staying open to show a conspiracy film.

Anna Redfern kept Cinema & Co in Swansea open when she was ordered to shut and even played and vowed to 'take a stand' against the Covid pass scheme.

She was told she needed to obey the rules but ignored a judge's direction to close and re-opened instead.

Outside the cinema. Credit: MEDIA WALES
Outside the cinema. Credit: MEDIA WALES
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Now, the business owner has been brought back before Swansea Magistrates' Court accused with refusing to follow public health rules, designed to stop the spread of Covid-19 which has been branded 'deliberate and concerted'.

Cinema & Co, which also hosts a variety of events and gatherings, was initially ordered to shut by Swansea Council and Welsh Government officials on 19 November for alleged Covid rule breaches.

On 30 November, a court judge rejected her appeal to dismiss her case and ordered the venue to follow Covid-19 regulations and respect the council's closing order.

The day after the court case, Cinema & Co appeared to re-open and host a Christmas film screening to those who booked online.

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According to the BBC, one of the films that was shown was called A Good Death and was made by Jaymie Icke, son of conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Credit: MEDIA WALES
Credit: MEDIA WALES

Last week, Cinema & Co announced it would be cancelling its film schedule for the rest of the year to deal with family reasons.

Swansea Council however said it was taking no chances and, on 11 December, bolted the business' shutters to the floor.

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When Ms Redfern attended court, a handful of supporters were also outside - including one holding up the sign 'medical apatheid is wrong'.

Ahead of the hearing, a press release issued by Mr McEvoy on behalf of Ms Redfern vowed that the cinema owner would be pleading 'not guilty' to all charges.

However, hours later, Ms Redfern admitted to District Judge Neale Thomas that she had been in contempt of court.

Credit: MEDIA WALES
Credit: MEDIA WALES
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During the course of the hearing, the court heard that there had been more than 70 complaints about Cinema & Co to the council.

And the premises had opened on November 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.

Those were witnessed by various local authority employees, but also by social media clips posted by the defendant herself indicating she 'had no intention of complying'.

Defence solicitor Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards asked the court to be lenient with his client, saying: "My client runs a small independent cinema and in these circumstances it is not a source of wealth.

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"My client does not run it principally for profit. My client is a person of many other praiseworthy attributes. Many of her cinema shows are free for the homeless.

Credit: MEDIA WALES
Credit: MEDIA WALES

District Judge Thomas said it was clear that Ms Redfern had broken the law.

He said: “There’s no such thing as a justified contempt of court and the issue that arose between the two parties was overtaken by an imposition of that order.

"Court orders are there to be obeyed, compliance is not an option.”

Ms Redfern was given a 28 day prison sentence suspended for nine months and a combined fine of £15,000 - £5,000 for each offence.

She will also have to pay court costs of £8,940 and a court fee, called a victim surcharge, of £190.

She has 56 days to pay. The defendant thanked the judge as she left the court.

Featured Image Credit: MEDIA WALES

Topics: News, UK News, Coronavirus, Crime

Rebecca Shepherd
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