Somerset tanning salon owner fined for staying open during Covid lockdown

Credit: The police found evidence that the tanning salon had been operating despite existing Covid restrictions.

The owner of a Somerset tanning salon who opened his business during lockdown has been fined thousands.

Nicholas Owen failed to turn up at court on Thursday 22 April but was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs by Bath Magistrates for opening his business during the third national lockdown.

The court heard the 35-year-old opened Solar Tanning, in High Street, Paulton, on 11 January this year despite being warned and fined previously.

Following a complaint, a police officer visited the tanning salon on January 12 and found the front door open. Although no-one was in the building, there was a sign on the reception desk which offered tanning facilities and gave a phone number to ring.

The officer then found two card receipts showing customers had purchased services on January 11 and 12.

The court heard Owen had ignored previous warnings and a £1,000 fixed penalty notice issued by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Speaking after the court hearing, cabinet member for community services councillor Paul Crossley said the "vast majority" of traders have complied with lockdown rules.

He added: “Owen’s rule breaches are an exceptional case where he has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for residents.

"In the middle of January when Covid-19 deaths nationally were at over 1,000 per day, he opened his shop with little apparent regard for potential virus transmission.

“I would like to thank the majority of traders for their co-operation with our officers during this difficult time.”

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