Woman ‘staged arrest’ after claiming Covid ‘no worse than getting sniffles’

A woman who was "arrested for sitting on a bench" is believed to have staged the incident after believing Covid-19 to be "no worse than getting the sniffles", it has been claimed.

Tattoo artist Marcia Baker was videoed being arrested by three officers in a park in Bournemouth, Dorset, on Saturday,

In the video she tells them: "I was sitting on a bench."

The 50-year-old is well known in her local area for her opposition to lockdown and had reportedly attended an anti-lockdown protest in the town at the weekend prior to her arrest.

She admitted to attending protests but said she was only in Bournemouth to collect seashells with her elderly father.

Marcia told the Mail Online: "I have been to previous protests but this time I had decided to go into Bournemouth for the day with my elderly father to walk along the beach and pick some seashells.

"I spent hours in the cells being laughed at and called a conspiracy theorist."

One pal who fell out with her over her coronavirus stance said: "She's been into all kinds of conspiracy theories for quite a while but just became more paranoid when the pandemic started last year.

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"She was going around telling everyone that coronavirus was no worse than getting the sniffles and that it was an attempt to control us all."

Marcia works at the Black Pearl Tattoo studio in Bournemouth and has two grown-up daughters.

Footage shared widely online shows three police officers surrounding her accusing her of leaving her house more than once in a day.

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She can be heard saying repeatedly: "I was sitting on a bench."

Dorset Police's Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan said: "We believe this video was planned, stage-managed and recorded by members of the protest group who turned up in multiple areas, several of whom refused to engage and provide their details.

"If people refuse to give their details in such circumstances then it leaves officers with little option but to arrest until the details are established."

Marcia denied claims the video was stage-managed, saying she spent several hours in a police cell where she was laughed at and branded a conspiracy theorist.

She said: "I don't know the person who took the video. It was a random bystander. The police were arresting everyone.

"I spent hours in the cells being laughed at and called a conspiracy theorist. I asked what law I had broken and they wouldn't say. They just said I was contravening regulations.

"In the end they let me go without charge as long as I pay a fine. I don't know how much it is."

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