A GYM owner was spoken to and fined by police for the 11th time after refusing to close his business over lockdown.

Steve Todd, the owner of Reps Gym in Preston, has refused to close his gym despite government orders to do so.

This weekend he was visited by police officers for the 11th time and issued with another fine for refusing to close his doors.

Gyms across the country have been forced to remain closed throughout lockdown but Mr Todd has been adamant in his opposition of the restrictions, claiming his gym is a sanctuary for people struggling with isolation during the pandemic.

Four officers entered his gym on Saturday to speak to Mr Todd about his non-compliance with coronavirus restrictions.

Having now been visited on 11 occasions, Todd has been issued with thousands of pounds' worth of fines since lockdown began.

The businessman also disputes the legality of coronavirus legislation, having refused to pay the fines he has accumulated in recent weeks.

The story has made national headlines over the weekend.

Last weekend officers issued 195 fines to people in breach of lockdown rules after over 400 calls were made about rule-breakers.

It is understood that Reps was on of the businesses fined along with people having others over for dinner and house party hosts.

Speaking at the time Ch Supt Sam Mackenzie, of Lancashire Police, said: “It’s clear to me that the vast majority of Lancastrians are doing their very best to support the national effort to beat Covid. I want thank them all, I am sure their efforts will save lives and hopefully shorten the hardship we are all facing.

"We have always been clear that our preference is to help people stay safe by explaining, educating, encouraging them to follow the rules. But when people tell us they understand the rules but have chosen to break them anyway, that approach clearly won’t work, which is when enforcement becomes necessary.

“We all want some normality back but we urge everybody not to become complacent now. You may not think it is a big deal to meet up with a small group of people or to get into a car with someone from another household – but we know it is possible to have the virus and not have any symptoms and by breaking the rules you are putting your own loved ones and other members of our communities at risk.

“Officers will continue to be out and about talking to people and checking the rules are being followed. If you are a key worker or have a valid reason to be out and about please do not be offended if you are spoken to.

“As I’ve said the overwhelming majority of people are following the rules and to those we say a huge ‘thankyou’. Please continue doing your bit so that we can contain the spread of the virus and keep everybody safe.”