A Paulton trader has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 by Bath Magistrates for breaching coronavirus regulations following a prosecution brought by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
At a hearing on April 22, 2021, the court heard Nicholas Owen (35), the proprietor of Solar Tanning of Pithay House, High Street, Paulton, BS39 7QE had opened the tanning shop for business during lockdown since January 11, 2021.
As the result of a complaint, a police officer went to the business premises on January 12 and found the front door open. Although no-one was on the premises at the time, a sign on the reception desk 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.
As Owen had already received advice from Bath & North East Somerset Council including the serving of notices, the case was referred to the council to prosecute under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020.
Owen failed to attend court and the court heard in his absence that the council’s Public Protection Team had previously served a prohibition notice on Owen and that council officers had visited Solar Tanning’s premises and served a £1,000 fixed penalty notice. Owen failed to pay the fixed penalty notice and as a result the council issued criminal proceedings against him.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “I am pleased to say that the vast majority of B&NES traders have complied with lockdown rules even though that may have been challenging for their businesses and our officers have found legal compliance to be extremely high in the area.
“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.”
Visit this page for the latest advice and information from the council about coronavirus.