Preston gym owner Steven Todd has been charged for breaching court order to stay closed

A Preston gym owner has been charged by police for defying a court order to keep his gym closed for lockdown.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:42 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:14 pm

Steven Todd was arrested yesterday (March 11) after police found him at his gym in Roman Way Industrial Estate with 10 people training inside.

He was arrested on suspicion of breaching a closure order handed down by Preston Magistrates' Court last month and taken into custody.

In addition, the 10 gym users were each handed £200 fines for breaching Covid regulations.

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Steven Todd has been charged following his arrest yesterday (March 11) after police found him and 10 other people at his gym in Roman Way Industrial Estate, Preston

Following 24 hours in custody, Mr Todd has now been charged.

A police spokesman said: "Steven Todd, 56, of Chapel Hill, Longridge, has been charged with remaining on / entering premises in contravention of a closure order."

He has since been bailed and will next appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on July 9.

Why has he been arrested and charged?

Police at Reps Gym in Roman Way Industrial Estate yesterday (March 11)

The 56-year-old has breached a three-month closure order handed down by Preston Magistrates' Court on February 5.

Mr Todd had been summoned to court after refusing to close Reps Gym for lockdown - despite 12 police visits and thousands of pounds in fines for breaching restrictions.

You can watch the moment police raided Reps Gym and handed Mr Todd a £1,000 fine here.

Before appearing at court, he had been issued with a number of prohibition notices from Preston City Council but had failed to comply and continued to allow members to visit the gym.

On February 5, Preston Magistrates' Court granted Preston City Council a three-month closure order and warned him that attempts to access the gym would be illegal while the order remains in place.

The court told Mr Todd that he was liable to be arrested and prosecuted if he breached the order. He was also ordered to pay £9,000 in court costs.

You can read our full court report here.

But a tip-off at 6.45pm on Thursday (March 11) led police to the gym where they found Mr Todd and 10 people training inside.

He was arrested and taken into custody and has been charged with breaching the court's closure order.