THE case against a York barbers and its directors accused of operating the business when it should have been closed during the second coronavirus lockdown has been dropped.

District judge Adrian Lower declared that the prosecution had not carried out a legal procedure that it should have done in preparing for the trial.

He told City of York Council he would exclude all of the prosecution case against Q Gentlemens Barber and two men who were the company’s directors in 2021 if the prosecution tried to continue the case.

The council then offered no evidence and all three defendants were formally acquitted on all charges.

Ryan Cross, 31, of Alness Drive, Woodthorpe, Dylan Bell, 28, of Burnholme Drive, Tang Hall, and Q Gentlemens Barber, of Bishopthorpe Road, York, had all denied charges of continuing to operate a business that should have been closed under Tier 4 coronavirus regulations between January 6, 2021, and March 28, 2021, failure to close a business that should have been closed under a different set of coronavirus regulations between March 29, 2021, and April 11, 2021, and two offences of contravening a prohibition order made under coronavirus regulations after May 13, 2021.

The judge also said that the two director defendants had been late in filing defence statements as part of the pre-trial legal procedures.