Liverpool bodybuilder and gym owner allowed to break lockdown rules

A bodybuilder accused of breaching coronavirus restrictions by keeping his south Liverpool gym open has been cleared.

Nathan De Asha was found not guilty of breaching coronavirus restrictions after a trial at Sefton Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. The trial focused on an alleged offense on November 9, 2020, with Mr De Asha being accused of opening his Prophecy Performance Center gymnasium on Speke’s Gaskell Road to the public.

Speaking after the trial, Mr De Asha’s lawyer, Lucinda Nicholls, told ECHO he was found not guilty after a district judge ruled that the evidence presented in court did not satisfy the standard of proof required to convict him of breaching the restrictions. Ms Nicholls said Mr De Asha disputed the alleged breach at the time and refused to pay a proposed fine.

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This fine is now cancelled. Mr De Asha’s gymnasium was also the subject of a separate raid in February last year.

The raid saw police raid the gymnasium after members of the public reported breaches of coronavirus legislation, with officers claiming Mr De Asha had falsely jailed dozens of people on the premises to prevent him being apprehended for a breach of lockdown restrictions. Mr De Asha said police ‘abused, maimed and abused’ him after video footage he shared on social media appeared to show him being kicked in the stomach.

Speaking about the incident shortly after, Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: ‘At Merseyside Police extensive training is given to officers on the importance of using force lawfully and proportionately, and fortunately to the vast majority of interactions with the public, strength is not required.

“The decision to use force is never taken lightly and, where appropriate, officers often have to make quick, split-second judgments when there is a risk of harm. During this incident, the use of force was deemed necessary by officers in response to the behavior of individuals.”

Teresa E. Burton