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TAKEN TO COURT: Gym owner suspected Covid breaches

TAKEN TO COURT: Gym owner suspected Covid breaches

Eddy Ellwood was in court suspected of breaching Covid rules by Hartlepool Council, Image: Teesside Live

Hartlepool Borough Council has taken a gym owner to court over suspected breaches of Covid regulations in February this year.

Strongman Eddy Ellwood, who owns Xtreme Fitness gym at Longhill Industrial Estate, was flanked by protestors carrying placards as he walked into Teesside Magistrates Court on Tuesday October 12 2021.

Some of the group held signs against the Covid vaccine, with one stating ‘hands off our kids’, which is linked to school-age children now being eligible for the Covid jab.

Hartlepool Borough Council prosecution of Mr Ellwood is that they claim he failed to comply with Covid rules on February 2 and February 7, 2021.

The local authority claims that he allowed people to enter his gym who were not there for employment or to complete essential maintenance.

The council also alleges the gym owner of contravening a prohibition notice that was given by the local authority on January 12.

Speaking outside of court, Mr. Ellwood claimed that he was not guilty.

The case has been pushed back until November 9 as Mr Ellwood has appointed Dr John Brown to represent him.

Dr Brown said that his client may seek to call around three or four witnesses.

The next hearing date was given as November 9.

Speaking outside of court, he held a press conference, Mr Ellwood said: “Before I make my claim, I would like to say on record that I am a law-abiding citizen. I believe I have broke no laws. When you witness wrong and you turn away from that wrong you are then party to that wrong.

“It is everyone’s moral obligation and responsibility to stand up, and against, anything you believe is wrong. I was protesting online and outdoors well before I used my rights to protest indoors. I have been all over the country as an activist, that cannot be denied, that I have stood my ground in all I believe.

“I cause no harm, injury, suffering or loss to any man, woman or their property. I’ve broke no laws. However, the authorities intentionally tried to cause me harm, cause me, and my property, harm, loss, and suffering. They broke the law.

“And I have every right under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 10 – everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of his rights and obligations and any criminal charge against him.

“I have been bullied, harassed, intimidated, discriminated against and treated unfairly and unequally and I intend to claim rightful remuneration for my loss and suffering. I am not guilty.”


Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter

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