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Police arrest two people at Christian cafe that has refused to close despite lockdown

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
The Mustard Seed
Police made two arrests when they were called to the Mustard Seed cafe in Gedling, Nottinghamshire, on Saturday. (Google Maps)

Two men have been arrested for breaching coronavirus regulations after police were called to a Christian cafe that reportedly refused to close during lockdown.

Nottinghamshire Police said officers were called to reports that 40 to 50 people were gathering at the Mustard Seed book shop and cafe in Gedling, Nottinghamshire.

The arrests come after the cafe was fined £1,000 by Gedling Borough Council for staying open during lockdown, citing Magna Carta as reasons to stay open.

It comes after hairdresser Quinn Blakey in Bradford, West Yorkshire, also cited the 1215 Magna Carta as a reason for staying open.

Nottinghamshire Police said when officers arrived on Saturday at around 4.20pm they found the premises locked with a large number of people inside, despite current lockdown rules.

The two men were arrested after refusing to give their details when officers tried to issue them with £200 fixed penalty notices for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Officers had already visited the cafe earlier on the same day after reports it was continuing trading, the force said.

The cafe had already been issued with a £1,000 fine by Gedling Borough Council for staying open during lockdown.

According to reports last week, owners had cited Magna Carta and common law as reasons to stay open.

Pictures shared online of signs posted in the establishment’s windows saying the coronavirus lockdown is “unlawful” and quoting Article 61 of the 1215 Magna Carta as a reason for not complying with current laws.

Watch: Arrests made as protestors rally at anti-lockdown demonstration in London

Commenting on Saturday’s arrests Chief Inspector Rob Shields, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Officers attended to engage with and disperse people who had gathered in contravention of the national lockdown.

“Two men refused to disperse and refused to give their details to be issued with fixed penalty notices so they were arrested.

“The lockdown legislation is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the NHS.

“Most people across the county have been playing their part in minimising the spread of the virus but sadly there remain a few people who refuse to adhere to our efforts to engage, explain and educate and consequently we will not hesitate to enforce the regulations.”

Watch: These are the exceptions for going outside during England's second national lockdown

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