Hartlepool gym owner and ex-Mr Universe Eddy Ellwood charged with Covid-19 rule breaches
A Hartlepool gym owner and former Mr Universe has appeared in court after he was charged with breaching coronavirus lockdown regulations.
Former Mr Universe Edmund “Eddy” Ellwood faces four charges relating to two dates in February this year.
Ellwood, whose address was given as that of the business, Xtreme Fitness, Unit 2, on the Longhill Industrial Estate, in Hartlepool, is accused of two offences each on both February 2 and February 7.
The charges say that on each date he contravened a direction given by Hartlepool Borough Council, under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.3) (England) Regulations 2020, by allowing individuals “to enter the premises for purposes other than paid employment or for the essential and specific upkeep and maintenance of the premises” and that he contravened a prohibition notice given by the council.
The 57-year-old appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, in Middlesbrough, on Tuesday, October 12.
His barrister, Dr John Brown, told the bench he had not yet had sight of the prosecution evidence or had a chance to interview potential defence witnesses and asked magistrates to adjourn the case.
Tony Macnab, for Hartlepool Borough Council, said he had no objection to an adjournment and magistrates agreed to adjourn the case back to the same court at 2pm on Tuesday, November 9.
No pleas were taken on any of the four charges.
A small number of anti-lockdown protestors staged a demonstration outside the court in support of Mr Ellwood during the hearing.
Mr Ellwood, originally from East Durham, clinched the Mr Universe title five times between 1997-2001 and was England’s Strongest Man winner on three occasions between 2003-05.