Gym 'boss' who 'refused to shut during latest coronavirus lockdown' hauled before court

A GYM was hauled before court today for "refusing to close" during the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Cops were called to Spartans Gym in Southampton last week amid reports that the owner had vowed to stay open despite the government's rules.

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Police warned a man, believed to be the manager, that he would be taken to court if he continued to flout the rules.

Gym "boss" Josh Gosling appeared at Southampton magistrates court charged with breaking coronavirus guidelines – but claimed he is a "passionate" member of the gym, not the owner.

The 28-year-old explained during the hearing that the owners of the gym were not in court as the director listed had resigned months before the lockdown.

The court heard that the gym had refused to shut despite the nationwide lockdown.

Police were first called to the gym at 10.20am on November 5 following reports that it was not observing the lockdown guidelines.

Gosling, who represented himself, pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person.

He claimed he had no authority to decide if the gym remained open.

Spartans Gym faces the same charges although it's not clear who owns the business, with Gosling claiming it's now owned by a man named "Dean".

The 28-year-old told the judge: "First of all I don’t know why I’m here.

“I am not a manager. I have no standing. I am just a passionate member of the gym. I care about it.”

When asked why police and staff at Southampton city council thought he was the manager, Gosling said he had simply been at the gym when they turned up.

He said: “I stood and spoke about my thoughts about what should happen with gyms in the UK.

“I am not the owner of the gym.

"I don’t believe that what the government has done is correct."

The hearing for Gosling and Spartans Gym has been adjourned until January 27 when a full hearing will take place.

 

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