County Durham business in court for breaking Covid rules

THREE County Durham hotel businesses have appeared in court after breaking Covid rules last spring.

All three ended up with court bills of over £1,000 following the breaches, which came at a time when businesses could open but still faced restrictions in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus .

The cases were heard at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. April 19.

Turks Head, Barnard Castle

The Turks Head public house in Barnard Castle was carrying out restricted activities on April 30 last year.

Jason Swan, of Market Place, Barnard Castle, was facing two offense charges during stage 2 of the roadmap.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard the pub failed to ensure food or drink was ordered and served to customers seated outside and failed to ensure customers remained seated throughout by eating and drinking.

There was a second accusation of not having closed the interior part of the premises.

Swan did not appear in court and the case was proven in his absence.

He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £344, as well as £100 to fund victim services.

North Point Hotel, Tow Bill

Darren Jackson, of Friary Gardens, Gateshead, appeared in court charged with breaking the rules last May.

It is for North Point Hotel t/a Bua Boutique at Tow Law.

He is accused of failing to ensure that food and drink were served to seated customers and of failing to ensure that people remained seated while they ate and drank.

The breach happened on May 18 last year, during stage 3 of the Covid roadmap.

The case was proven in his absence on Tuesday, April 19.

He was fined £1,000 and court costs of £609 and £190 to fund victim services.

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The Hammer and the Tongs, Newton Aycliffe

Rachel Walton, of Middleton St George, near Darlington, was fined £1,300 at a hearing in Peterlee.

It concerns a breach of Covid rules at The Hammer and Pincers pub, in Preston Lane, near Newton Aycliffe on May 22, during stage 3 of the Covid plan.

Magistrates overheard the pub serving alcohol, but she failed to ensure customers remained seated while eating or drinking.

She pleaded guilty and was fined £1,300, costs £341 and a victim fine surcharge of £130.

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