A judge has ordered a theatre owner who received a £15,000 punishment for Covid violations to show her terrible financial situation otherwise the court may find that there was a “deliberate hiding of funds.”
Despite admitting six counts in December last year, Swansea’s Cinema & Co.’s Anna Redfern, 46, has contested the size of her penalties.
She and the firm were both in a “woeful financial position,” Swansea Crown Court heard, as the enterprise “floundered” as a result of the lawsuit.
The appeal was postponed for a month.
Redfern was asked to provide “documentary rather than anecdotal” proof of her financial situation by Judge Paul Thomas QC.
The issue came about because of Covid passes being a mandate in Welsh movie theatres in November 2021, which Redfern refused to enforce since it was “an infringement on our human rights.”
She was given closure orders by both Swansea Council and the Welsh government, but she reopened the location nevertheless.
She was given a sentence of 28 days in jail with a nine-month suspension after pleading guilty to six counts and was also told to pay £15,000.
At court on Monday, Redfern’s attorney Sarah Wood stated that after the firm “floundered,” both her client and the corporation were in a “woeful financial condition.”
Customers have reportedly boycotted the theatre as a result of the right-wing supporters’ “hijacking” of the Redfern issue, according to Ms. Wood.
Because of supporters who are not “connected” with the mother-of-two, she claimed, she has been “tainted with being a racist,” which has caused a reduction in her client base and left the establishment “basically vacant.”
The judge, however, refuted those assertions, arguing that Redfern’s response to Covid restrictions may have caused some customers to abandon their support.
She was “unashamed in disobeying the prohibition of opening her premises,” according to his description.
To support his argument, he requested further bank records and audit trails.
According to prosecutor Lee Reynolds, many of the accounts already submitted were insufficient, and the prosecution was concerned about the “absence” of a “credible audit trail.”
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