Two men arrested after failing to close café despite lockdown

Mustard Seed in Gedling, Nottinghamshire [photo: Yahoo News]

Nov, 16th 2020 – Two men have been arrested at a tearoom and Christian bookshop that has refused to close under Covid-19 regulations. Owners of the Mustard seed café in Nottingham, cited common laws as reasons to stay open when police reported to the café following reports of a gathering of about 40 to 50 people.

According to the chief inspector Rob Shields, the two men refused to disperse or give their details to be issued with fixed penalty notices of £200, hence their arrest. He said, “The lockdown legislation is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the NHS. Most people across the county have been playing their part in minimising the spread of the virus but sadly there remain a few people who refuse to adhere to our efforts to engage, explain and educate and consequently we will not hesitate to enforce the regulations.”

According to reports, the owners cited Magna Carta and common law as reasons they stayed open. Photos shared online were of signs posted on the windows of the establishment saying that the coronavirus lockdown is unlawful, quoting Article 61 of the 1215 Magna Carta as the reason for not complying with the current laws.

The original Magna Carta consisted of 63 clauses of which only four are relevant today. The clause specifically stated, “The barons shall elect twenty-five of their number to keep, and cause to be observed with all their might, the peace and liberties granted and confirmed to them by this charter. Any man who so desires may take an oath to obey the commands of the twenty-five barons for the achievement of these ends, and to join with them in assailing us to the utmost of his power.

This clause contradicts the acts of the two men as contents of the original document were declared void and replaced by subsequent versions. In both the 1216 versions and final 1225 versions, there is no mention of the 25 barons or clause 61 in the documents.

The owner speaking to BBC said, “I’m not doing this because I’m a rebel. I don’t believe what I am doing is unlawful. I’m standing up for what is right and moral.”

The arrests came after reports to the police were that 40 to 50 people were gathered at the café.

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