South Glos

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Swansea cinema owner pleads guilty to being in contempt of court following Covid passport dispute

The owner of an independent cinema in Swansea has admitted to being in contempt of court after a dispute over Covid passports.

In Swansea Magistrates' Court, Judge Neale Thomas handed down a 28-day prison sentence, suspended for nine months and a fine of £15,000 to the owner of Cinema & Co, Anna Redfern.

Redfern had refused to ask customers for proof of vaccination or a negative covid test despite new rules introduced by the Welsh Senedd last month. She cited human rights grounds and the Declaration of Human Rights when explaining the reasons for her protest.

Swansea Council issued a closure order, but the cinema continued to host movie screenings.

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Locks that were placed on the door to the cinema were damaged and removed. The council eventually bolted the doors shut.

At the same time, Swansea began pursuing the contempt of court charge against Redfern.

At the hearing on Monday (14 December), Redfern's representative initially told the judge she neither admitted nor denied being in contempt of court, a BBC report noted.

The report added that, after several hours of discussions with his client, he said his client was pleading guilty to six charges.

The charges involved breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.5) (Wales) 2020, the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, and the Coronavirus Act 2020.

She was also found to have breached the Criminal Damage Act 1971 after admitting to damaging the locks placed by the local authority.

Adam Carey

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