United Kingdom

Covid 'denier' is charged with public order offence for filming inside hospital

An anti-lockdown protester who filmed inside a hospital in a bid to claim the coronavirus pandemic is a 'massive scam' has been charged with a public order offence.

Debbie Hicks wandered around Gloucester Royal Hospital last month saying it was 'shut down' and 'dead' and was arrested in her dressing gown by two officers who visited her home in Stroud 24 hours later.

Now Hicks - a comrade of Jeremy Corbyn's anti-vaxxer brother Piers - has been charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress over the video.

 The eight-minute clip was filmed on December 28 - shortly after the area was moved to Tier 3 on Boxing Day.

Debbie Hicks filmed inside Gloucester Royal Hospital last month (left) saying it was 'shut down' and 'dead' and was arrested by two officers who visited her home in Stroud 24 hours later in an incident filmed by her husband (right)

In the video shared widely on social media the activist says: 'Where are all the people dying and where is the mutant virus?'

In the video - which has since been viewed b more than 158,000 people on Facebook - she says: 'We've been put in Tier 3, for this? It's a disgrace. I've seen less than 20 people. It's completely dead in an empty hospital with wards shut down and the lights off.

'Where are all the people dying and where is the mutant virus? I can't see the evidence and neither can the public watching. We've been robbed of Christmas for this'.

Gloucester Royal Hospital hit back at the time and insisted the wards are 'extremely busy' and accused her of 'intrusion' and upsetting patients filmed waiting in A&E.  

NHS chiefs claimed there are more than 200 Covid patients in the hospital Hicks was filming. 

Ms Hicks is a former Labour council candidate and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers (pictured together this year), who is an anti-lockdown campaigner

One doctor told MailOnline she had filmed a deserted outpatient area on a bank holiday Monday, hence why it was empty.

Ms Hicks wore a party hat instead of a mask on the Tube in June

Hicks is set to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on March 30.

The charge has been brought against her under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, a Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said tonight. 

The spokesperson added: 'The charge relates to an incident at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Monday 28 December.'

The public is not allowed to film inside a UK hospital - or patients - without prior permission being granted.

Ms Hicks journeyed through A&E, along corridors and looked into various wards without a mask, telling people who stopped her that she is exempt from wearing them.   

In one angry exchange she is heard exclaiming: 'You shouldn't be asking me about that. It's none of your business. Two stupid women asking why I'm not wearing a face covering. I'm not in the mood for this bulls**t today'.  

Ms Hicks (pictured) stood for Labour at the 2017 local elections before being suspended after suggesting that the Manchester terror attack was 'wonderful timing for Theresa May' - suggesting the terror attack that claimed 23 lives and injured 800-plus could help win the Tories votes 

The activist was arrested at her home on December 29 on suspicion of a public order offence where her husband filmed two officers try to handcuff her in her dressing gown.

Sharing the video after being bailed - and being banned from all NHS property unless she becomes ill - she said: 'Wake up world- how utterly Orwellian and Nazi to go through this for sharing a video of an empty hospital.

'This officer barged into my home, at xmas, and arrested me when I wasn't dressed in front of my family. I was in my nightgown with nothing underneath when the thug of an officer tried to drag me off under arrest as he aggressively arrested me and twisted my hands behind my back in handcuffs'. 

Gloucester Royal Hospital (pictured in Ms Hicks' film) insisted the wards are 'extremely busy' and accused her of 'intrusion' and upsetting patients filmed waiting in A&E

Ms Hicks stood for Labour at the 2017 local elections before being suspended after suggesting that the Manchester terror attack was 'wonderful timing for Theresa May' - suggesting the terror attack that claimed 23 lives and injured 800-plus could help win the Tories votes. 

She is an active supporter of Piers Corbyn and his 'Freedom Rally' movement, attending protests in London with him and posing for a selfie on the Tube using a party hat as a mask.

Mr Corbyn tweeted the video of her arrest today with the caption: 'Fascism'. 

In November she was arrested was arrested at the Freedom Rally event in Stroud. She has been charged with a coronavirus offence and is due to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court on February 22.

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