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Gloucestershire Business News

Debbie Hicks told she will stand trial twice for alleged pandemic breach offences

A Stroud woman who has allegedly claimed that COVID-19 is a hoax is to stand trial on two charges of contravening pandemic laws.

Debbie Hicks, 46, of Stratford Road, Stroud, pleaded not guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court yesterday (May 24) to failing to comply with the Secretary of State's directions by holding a 'freedom' event during lockdown.

It is alleged that she breached the Coronavirus Act by failing to leave the Stratford Park area of Stroud when requested.

Some 100 people, many holding banners and placards, gathered in Stratford Park for the 'Stroud Freedom Rally' on November 7 last year.

Ms Hicks was told she will stand trial on the charge at the magistrates' court in Cirencester on June 28.

She is also to stand trial in a separate hearing for allegedly live streaming a video from her phone inside Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on December 28, 2020.

She has pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing to using threatening, abusive words and behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

That trial will also be heard at the Cirencester Courthouse on July 12.

At yesterday's hearing, Ms Hicks was released on bail with a condition not to enter any hospital premises except for attending an appointment.

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