/Covid-denying salon boss fined almost £13k after leading anti-lockdown protest

Covid-denying salon boss fined almost £13k after leading anti-lockdown protest

A salon owner who led hundreds of people on an anti-lockdown protest has been fined almost £13,000 but failed to show up to court.

Julie Saunderson left her home in Formby on November 21 last year, to “direct and engage” hundreds of people on a march through Liverpool city centre, the ECHO reports.

Saunderson – who owns Skin Kerr in Bootle – was charged with being outside of a place without reasonable excuse, participating in a public gathering of more than two people and holding a gathering of more than 30 people.

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The 42-year-old, of Callan Crescent, attended Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on February 19 where she denied the offences.

But she failed to attend a trial held today.

Saunderson made no contact to explain why she wasn’t present for the hearing, the ECHO reports.

The paper reports that Saunderson was witnessed by two police officers on November 21 last year, during the second national lockdown , “directing and engaging” a large group of people on Renshaw Street in Liverpool city centre at around 1.50pm.

Ms Durkin, prosecuting, said when she was asked for her details she refused and “initially denied breaching regulations” claiming she was “simply crossing the road or exercising”.

But the court saw body-worn camera footage which showed her appearing to direct and shout to those following her through the streets.

Saunderson’s salon, Skin Kerr, hit headlines in September 2020, when a poster appeared in its window denying the existence of coronavirus.

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The sign on the shop, on Aintree Road, contained a series of bullet points stating: “Covid Free Salon; no masks, we take cash; covid talk is banned; you can’t catch what doesn’t exist.”

The bullet points end with ‘#voodoovirusisbullsh**’ and ‘#wedonotconsent’ and states “please respect the rules of the salon.”

Under rules designed to limit the spread of the disease at the time, hairdressers and salon staff were required to wear surgical face masks as well as clear visors.

Saunderson was today found guilty of three offences under coronavirus restrictions.

She was fined £12,000, as well as £810 in court costs, which must be paid within 28 days.

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