A HAIRDRESSER who repeatedly opened her Oakenshaw salon during the second lockdown has been served a closure order by the court.

Kirklees Council issued a closure notice and applied for a court order to shut Quinn Blakey Hairdressing, in Bradford Road, after the owner Sinead Quinn continued to defy lockdown regulations.

In a hearing at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court this lunchtime, Rebecca Todd, chair of the bench, granted the order, saying Ms Quinn's behaviour was "causing people distress at an already stressful and disturbing time".

Ms Quinn failed to turn up at court and the trial took place in her absence.

The order is in place with immediate effect and lasts until midnight on Tuesday, when the month-long national restrictions end and West Yorkshire moves into Tier 3 lockdown.

During the current four-week Covid-19 national lockdown, it has been illegal for non-essential businesses, including hairdressers, to open.

Speaking in court, Tahir Hanif, prosecuting on behalf of Kirklees Council, said Ms Quinn had mentioned "the Magna Carta" and said she "did not consent to abide by the legislation".

Mr Hanif told the courtroom: "A court notice was served at the hairdressers on Saturday at 1.30pm. It was posted and placed on the shop in other prominent spots.

"The notice was accepted and acknowledged, along with some other remarks I will not go into.

"The application by Kirklees Council is for an closure order. When the second national lockdown was imposed, one of the reasons was due to increases in positive tests, and this particular legislation had certain premises and businesses that could not open, and most businesses did close. One of those businesses was hairdressers, salons and barbers.

"On a number of occasions, the owner of this premises [Quinn Blakey Hairdressing] Sinead Quinn opened her premises for customers and when enforcement officers attended they observed customers being engaged in services offered and inside the shop.

"When asked to open the door to have a discussion, Ms Quinn refused, and mentioned the Magna Carta and that this legislation does not apply to her, and that she does not consent to abide by this legislation.

"She posted a video of this on her Instagram account and it gained some notoriety."

Mr Hanif said the shop had been observed to be open on November 9, 12, 13 and 14, and fixed penalty notices were issued - which have so far totalled £17,000 - but that these fines were "no hindrance to her behaviour".

"It was a simple disregard of the notices," he said.

"Wendy Blakeley, head of public protection at Kirklees Council, said she understands it's a difficult time, but there is support that can be received and wished to engage Ms Quinn, but there was no response and she continued to open.

"Pressure built on the council, with coverage in local and national media, and it seemed like a running joke to Ms Quinn that she was not complying.

"More complaints were made to the council about a perceived lack of action, and a final Letter Before Action was posted last Tuesday, on November 24. Kirklees' position was a case of, if you close now that will hopefully resolve the matter.

"Unfortunately, on November 26 and 27 the shop was open again and a complaint from a member of the public. A decision was taken that a message had to be sent and that this behaviour would not be acceptable because of the risks to the health of the public.

"Opening endangered the lives of members of the public because of the Covid-19 pandemic."

Judith Stones, manager of infectious diseases at Kirklees Council, added: "We received numerous complaints from the public about the premises being open, and we have to ensure restrictions are followed.

"We had 20 different complainants who were distressed about it, especially with the incredibly high infection rate in Kirklees. The public are very concerned about their health and the health of others.

"A lot of other people in the industry have closed, and we need to do everything we can to get the virus under control. We are supposed to stay at home except for permitted reasons; a haircut is not one of those reasons."

When asked about the timing of the application, with national lockdown ending on Wednesday, Mr Hanif said it was a "last resort" and the council had taken other options to resolve the situation and "give the owner every opportunity to comply with regulations", but followed the continued failure to do so meant this was "the only appropriate action".

Chair of the bench Rebecca Todd said while there were still "real concerns about the timing of this application, we are satisfied it is needed to protect public nuisance and safeguard public health".

"Ms Quinn's behaviour is causing distress to the public in an already stressful and disturbing time."