Gym that 'refused to close in second lockdown still open under tier four'

A gym that was taken to court for failing to shut during the November lockdown appears to still be open, despite being under tier four rules.

Yesterday up to 60 people were seen heading in and out of Spartans Gym, Southampton, after the city entered the strictest level of coronavirus restrictions on Boxing Day.

Muscly visitors with Spartans Gym branded sportswear were photographed entering the venue, but management has denied being open and said those heading in were painters and decorators.

Under tier four rules, indoor gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness studios and other exercise centres must close their doors.

Spartans Gym was taken to court last month charged with two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person.

Police first received reports on November 5 that the family-run business had been staying open during the second national lockdown.

Officers believed Josh Gosling to be in charge and warned him he could end up in court if he continued to flout restrictions.

However, Gosling, 28, denied being the owner, claiming he was simply a ‘passionate member’, and said the business was now owned by a man named ‘Dean’, MailOnline reports.

Representing himself at Southampton Magistrates Court on November 13, he pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a reasonable person.

He 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 Southampton City Council officers thought he was the manager, he said he simply was there at the gym when authorities showed up, and shared his views about ‘what should happen with gyms in the UK’.

The hearing for Gosling and Spartans Gym has been adjourned until January 27, when a full trial is due to take place.

A spokesperson for the business said: ‘We are closed but doing a lot of maintenance and also trying paint, taking advantage of being closed… people coming and going will be working.’

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