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UK Club Owner Gets 6 Months in Jail After Serving Mince Pies During Lockdown

Victor Westerkamp
Victor resides in the Netherlands and writes about freedom and governmental and social changes to the democratic form of nations.
Published: November 13, 2022
A UK club owner was sentenced to 6 months in prison after serving mince pies during 2020's COVID lockdowns.
Mince pies in a file photo. A 72-year-old UK man was sentenced to six months in prison after serving mince pies at his shooting club during the 2020 lockdown. The judge ruled the man had perverted the course of justice for not cooperating with authorities. (Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A 72-year-old Brit has been sentenced to six months in prison for “perverting the course of justice” after serving mince pies at his shooting club during the 2020 Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown.

The club owner, Maurice Snelling, had the audacity to serve mince pies and wine at his Cloudside Shooting Ground in Staffordshire, England, while under tier three Covid restrictions during the December of 2020 lockdown.

The hang up is that according to regulations, he was only allowed to serve his guests a takeaway meal. 

However, the defendant’s lawyer, Thomas Sherrington, contended his client thought his premises was governed under the Cheshire region, which was under tier two at the time, meaning he would be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages provided they were “accompanied by a substantial meal.”

Circuit Judge David Fletcher was unremorseful during a Nov. 8 court hearing, stating: “I find it hard to believe that Mr. Snelling didn’t know which lockdown tier he was in,” the BBC reported.

To make things worse for the unfortunate club owner, after neighbors tipped the police about the litigant’s clandestine activities, police reportedly intervened in his business, closed the venue, and demanded CCTV footage be handed over, which the owner refused. 


To the contrary, Snelling attempted to erase the material. This was, however, not a wise thing to do after the company that managed his cameras handed the footage over to police.

Fletcher argued the suspect’s efforts struck “at the heart of justice,” the outlet reported. Also, Fletcher added that Snelling was “anti-establishment, especially to the police,” an attitude the judge had weighed along in his verdict.

“He doesn’t like being told what to do. He treated police with resentment,” Fletcher added while handing down a six month prison sentence alleging the defendant had perverted the course of justice.

Online outrage

Naturally, the judgment was met with a lot of criticism among netizens, journalists, and commenters alike.

“Boris Johnson had several parties during lockdown and got away with it,” a journalist and filmmaker at commented on Twitter.

“This guy served mince pies during lockdown and has been literally sent to prison. England is a complete embarrassment,” he added.

“Partygate gets a £50 fine this guy goes to jail. One rule for them, one rule for us,” said another Twitter user.

Similar cases

It wasn’t the first time a government overreached its authority and belittled its citizens over breaching petty COVID regulations, as Vision Times reported earlier.

An Albert Lea bistro owner was sentenced to three months in prison plus a $1,000 fine for violating the Minnesota COVID-19 state mandate for keeping her business open during the December of 2020 lockdown.

Lisa Hanson, 57, defied Governor Tim Waltz’s executive order — a decision that brought her on a collision course with Chief District Judge Joseph Bueltel.

Hanson, who defended herself in court during her three day trial from Dec. 8 to 10, 2020, was charged with six criminal misdemeanor counts, each of which came with a maximum penalty of $1,000 fine and 90 days in prison.

In February of 2021, the City of Toronto hit restaurant owner Adam Skelly of Adamson Barbecue who defied Ontario’s business closure lockdown measures in November of 2020 with a $187,000 bill.

The sum, it was contended, was to cover the costs of enforcing Premier Doug Ford’s orders.

Skelly announced he would defy Ford’s 28-day lockdown, one of several, which demanded all small businesses close while allowing big box retail brands, such as Costco and Walmart, to continue to operate as normal.