Anti-lockdown hairdresser hasn’t paid £8k fine despite getting £10k in donations

A hairdresser who stubbornly refused to close her salon during last autumn's lockdown has vowed not to back down after being hit with £8,436 in fines.

Sinead Quinn was issued with ten charges of lockdown breaking activity by Kirklees Council 40 days ago for repeatedly opening Quinn Blakey Hairdressing in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, West Yorkshire, and is yet to pay any of the money owed.

The Yorkshirewoman became a hero for online anti-lockdown activists late last year when she quoted the Magna Carta, a document on the rights of royal subjects from the year 1215, as justification for keeping her business open during a period of enforced public health restrictions, Yorkshire Live reports.

She received more than £10,000 in donations from a GoFundMe page, but appears not to have contributed the money towards the case, with her saying last November that she does not expect to have to pay.

"By no means do I think the council will be successful in trying to extort money from me," she wrote.

"I am simply doing this so that people don’t take it upon themselves to create a gofundme on my behalf and possibly run off with the money!

"I’m confident in the fact we will win this fight, so in that case the money will go to my amazing brother who is fighting himself against Stage 4 bowel cancer, he was diagnosed in August 2020 and he’s 36 years old with a wife and 2 children."

In a letter to Kirkless Magistrates' Court last month, Sinead denied the legitimacy of the charge, with one part of the note reading: "The woman Sinead does not accept the role of defendant."

But the hearing went ahead in her absence, with prosecutor Tahir Hanif laying out the case on behalf of Kirklees Council.

Mr Hanif recounted the occasions that Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police had attended Quinn Blakey Hairdressing and found her breaking lockdown rules.

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Officials from Kirklees asked the courts about the fine and were told last week, and again today, that the money hadn't been paid.

In January this year, police in Preston, Lancashire decided to leave all future visits to the local council after raiding a gym that refused to close during lockdown for the eleventh time.

Four officers from Lancashire Police arrived to quiz Steven Todd, owner of Reps Gym, who said "here we go again" as they pulled up to his gym. He had argued that it was important for the facility to stay open for people suffering from mental health issues.

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