Cinema owner fined £15,000 for showing Covid conspiracy theory film after being ordered to close

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A cinema in Wales which was ordered to close after breaking Covid-19 rules has been fined £15,000 after flouting a ban on showing a conspiracy theory film.

The Cinema & Co cinema in Swansea was ordered to close in November after owner Anna Redfern, 45, repeatedly breached Welsh Covid regulations by refusing to check vaccination records.

At the time, Ms Redfern said on Facebook that the rules were ‘unfair and killing the entertainment industry’ and vowed to ‘take a stand’ against the new “discriminatory and illegal” measures.

Mrs. Redfern then broke the order and reopened in early December to show the “world premiere” of a film directed by Jaymie, the son of conspiracy theorist David Icke, the BBC reported.

The film A Good Death makes a series of unsubstantiated allegations against the NHS – including that staff were deliberately killing elderly people.

Ms Redfern was fined £15,000 and given a suspended 28-day jail sentence on December 14 after admitting contempt of court for failing to comply with the earlier order.

Cinema & Co in Swansea was ordered to close in November after owner Anna Redfern (pictured), 45, broke Covid regulations by refusing to check vaccination records

Ms Redfern had described the film as ‘thought-provoking’, despite being branded ‘completely false and ‘pernicious’ by fact checkers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCHR).

She had told the Icke family that it would be a “pleasure” to show the “revealing” film and to “spread real information”.

Defending her decision, she told BBC Wales: “Firstly, Cinema & Co does not practice censorship.

“Second, in caring for my mother at the end of her life and reflecting on my own mortality, I thought a lot about what constitutes a ‘good death’ and found the film very empowering.”

MailOnline has contacted Cinema & Co for further comment.

After the cinema closed on November 18, Ms Redfern reportedly reopened the theater on December 1 for a festive screening of Santa Claus: The Movie before showing the conspiracy film four nights later.

Ms Redfern then reopened Cinema & Co (pictured) to show the

Ms Redfern then reopened Cinema & Co (pictured) to show the ‘world premiere’ of a film directed by conspiracy theorist David Icke’s son, Jaymie, after the first court order

The film A Good Death makes a series of unsubstantiated allegations against the NHS - including that staff were deliberately killing elderly people.  Pictured: Cinema & Co in Swansea

The film A Good Death makes a series of unsubstantiated allegations against the NHS – including that staff were deliberately killing elderly people. Pictured: Cinema & Co in Swansea

The following week, Ms Redfern admitted to being in contempt of court and told the judge she would comply with the local authority.

Former sports broadcaster David Icke, who claims the royal family are shape-shifting lizards, was suspended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2020 after posting a series of Covid-19 conspiracy theories.

The former footballer has made controversial unproven claims about the virus on several internet platforms, including one that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.

Facebook said its account posted “incorrect health information that could cause physical harm.”

Speaking about the Jaymie Icke film, Callum Hunt, head of research at CCHR, called the film “dangerous” and said it was a “pretty typical piece of Covid conspiracy theory propaganda”. .

He said: ‘What’s really dangerous about the film that the Icke brothers have edited and shown in this Swansea cinema is that it portrays hard-working NHS doctors and nurses as deliberately preparing to murdering patients strictly in order to drive up the Covid pandemic figures, which is a complete reversal of what is really happening in the NHS.

Cinema & Co was ordered to close in November after announcing it would not enforce rules that extended the Covid pass scheme in Wales to cover cinemas, theaters and concert halls.

Ms Redfern (pictured) was fined £15,000 and given a suspended 28-day jail sentence on December 14 after admitting contempt of court for failing to comply with the earlier order

Ms Redfern (pictured) was fined £15,000 and given a suspended 28-day jail sentence on December 14 after admitting contempt of court for failing to comply with the earlier order

Former sports broadcaster David Icke (pictured) was suspended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2020 after posting a series of Covid-19 conspiracy theories

Former sports broadcaster David Icke (pictured) was suspended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in 2020 after posting a series of Covid-19 conspiracy theories

The cinema said the venue could be closed for up to 28 days after the first court order.

Speaking after her cinema closed, Ms Redfern said: “I am clearly distraught.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed with offers of help and support locally, nationally and even internationally. I have no further comment, but I will not be bullied.

In a social media post, Cinema & Co said: “Dear Customers. As an independent business we will not be implementing the absurd and unnecessary Covid passports here in Swansea, Wales as they are illegal , a violation of our human rights and discrimination against those who exercise their right to bodily autonomy.

Ms Redfern had claimed the rules on the entertainment industry in Wales were “discriminatory”.

She said, ‘If this is the hill I’m going to die on, then this is the hill I’m going to die on.

“I stand for what I believe in, it’s not just by any stretch of the imagination – it’s killing the entertainment industry and hospitality is even next – it says in the rules.

“They keep changing the goal posts, they keep putting more obstacles and I have the right to earn a living, it puts food on the table for my children and I’m a single mother, to manage all of this was extremely difficult.”

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