Aron Walton

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Walton shows exactly how many fucks he couldn't give.
I fought the law
and the law won

Icon pseudolaw.svg
us crazy
Some dare call it
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers
Well that didn't work now, did it?
No, no, it did not.
We will not be locking up our studio, not at all. I encourage every business to do the same… so anyway, where’s all the parties at? Who’s game for a party Thursday?
—Aron Walton, manager of Holey Skin[1]

Aron Walton is a tattooist and former manager of the Holey Skin tattoo parlour on Gloucester Road, Bristol, England who defied COVID-19 lockdown regulations as part of the so-called "Great Reopening" pseudolegal scheme, racking up over £20,000 in fines and costs.[2] He was one of a number of business owners and managers who thought they could keep their businesses open by displaying a notice proclaiming their "right to enter into lawful dissent" and declaring the business "under the jurisdiction of common law" based on a misunderstanding of Article 61 of the Magna Carta. Such arguments in modern times are generally restricted to proponents of Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (OPCA) schemes such as freeman on the land and sovereign citizens.[3] As well as his anti-lockdown antics, he was also involved in anti-mask, anti-vax and COVID-19 denialism as part of the group Stand Up Bristol.

Flight risk[edit]

A grinning Walton first came to prominence early in the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Stand Up X anti-mask protest by streaming himself strolling unmasked around Sainsbury's explaining that face coverings were useless and taunting staff, claiming that their policy was unenforceable.[4][5] His local branch Stand Up Bristol cited the Magna Carta in a threat to "seize public buildings" if Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees did not respond to their accusations of "treason" for his support for lockdown.[6]

Walton was contacted by NHS Test and Trace in September after three passengers on an EasyJet flight he had been on from Zante, Greece to Bristol Airport tested positive for COVID-19. He responded on social media, "I do not recognise this name, and I do not consent." When contacted by the local media he explained, "I research for myself and make my own conscious choices," "I do not believe anything the MSM or the Government have to say."[7] He continued to attend his business unmasked and once again questioned the efficacy of masks, as everyone except him on the flight was wearing one; he, of course, is exempt because wearing one causes the brave little soldier "severe distress".[8]

Lock it down[edit]

Walton was positively giddy as lockdown approached, stating "Covid doesn't exist," that the Magna Carta is a defence to lockdown,[9] and:

It’s the first time in your life someone has actually had the cheek to turn around and say you’re gonna be locked down and can’t have bonfire night, as shitty as it is anyway and what they’re celebrating.

I’m gonna open the studio as normal, work as normal, tattoo my client as normal, and afterwards I’m thinking firework display or bonfire.

I will not be shutting my studio, I will not be consenting to anything to do with these guidelines whatsoever.

I need to settle down a bit. I’m so excited. It’s great. I’m looking forward to exercising my rights.[1]

Sure enough Walton opened as usual, and when police and council officers arrived to serve a prohibition notice, he accused them of trespass and stated:

We haven't signed any contract with you.

I'm not a fictional character. I am a living man. You are not in your jurisdiction.

I’m not accepting that notice. I do not consent. I do not acknowledge it. I do not wish to enter any contract with you.[10]

Protestors from Stand Up Bristol turned up in support of Walton, with organiser Harlequin Forde! incorrectly stating, "We're here to protect Holey Skin… who is refusing to comply with Covid restrictions," and, "We agree with this because these restrictions aren’t legal… they are not law."[10]

The confrontation concluded with the officer posting the notice through the letterbox, and Walton responding, "We're not accepting that,” “It will be returned to sender," and, "Can I just point out there is[sic] no crimes being committed here?" He then went out to do a victory dance for the cameras of the local press.[10]

Blowing it[edit]

Remaining open, he confirmed to police, "I haven't accepted any prohibition order. I am a living man and I do not consent," "This land is governed by consent and we do not consent," he continued by tugging on the heart strings as a father of six, before concluding, "This is not a criminal matter… I know they're getting you to do stuff, but your hands are tied."[11]

In another visit, Walton began an encounter he described as "perfect" by telling the "nice" officer, "I made it quite clear on my Instagram account I will be issuing £10,000 fines for any more police visits." He went on to state, "I have an affidavit of truth," before launching into a four-minute tirade about "common law," which elicited, "I did not know that was the response I was going to get," from the officer. "I really appreciate this chat and I will not be issuing you a 10 grand fine," Walton concluded.[12]

When police and council officers returned with a warrant of entry and a locksmith, Walton told the locksmith, "Don’t blow through the hole please, you could have Covid," and said to the officers:

You have no wet signature from a judge. You have no authority here. You have no jurisdiction here.

I stand under common law. You are committing criminal offences against me right now.[13]

Upon entering the officers arrested Walton, seized equipment and issued a £1,000 fixed penalty notice, to which Walton responded, "I do not consent, I do not accept it," but, "Leave that evidence there for me, please." The officers then de-arrested Walton and left him threatening to "bill them for the damage."[14][15] He quickly announced his intention to reopen as soon as he sorted out his paperwork and sourced some replacement equipment.[16]

Great reopening[edit]

Holey Skin was reopened within a week, with Walton posting the Magna Carta notice in the window,[17] and when police and council officer arrived with a warrant and issued £200 fixed penalty notices to four people, he responded "I do not understand, I do not consent," maintained, "That warrant there has no wet signature from a judge," and accused them of "high treason," for which, he stated, "you will stand trial before a jury of the people, and which still carries the gallows".[18]

Courting disaster[edit]

Bristol Magistrates' Court, in August 2021, sentenced Walton, in his absence, to pay over £20,000 in fines and costs for failing to comply with the closure notice and obstructing an enforcement officer.[19] Later that month he joined an antivax mob who forced the pop-up vaccination centre in Cabot Circus shopping centre to close.[20]

Despite the shop closing and Walton moving to Wales, he appeared before Bristol Magistrates' Court again in September 2023 charged with assault and a public order offences dating back to 2021 and 2022.[21]

See also[edit]

  • Sinead Quinn, a hairdresser and salon owner who also cited Magna Carta in defying lockdown.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bristol tattooist says he will open shop in lockdown and wants a 'party' by Conor Gogarty (2 November 2020) Bristol Live
  2. Aaron Walton could be prosecuted again if he does not pay Covid fine by Conor Gogarty (14 August 2021) Bristol Live
  3. Covid lockdown: Why Magna Carta won’t exempt you from the rules by Alistair Coleman (6 March 2021) BBC News
  4. The anti-maskers provoking shop staff by flouting restrictions: Woman who boasts she 'didn't clap for the NHS' and smoker with face tattoo are among mob of rule-breakers sharing videos of themselves not covering-up in stores by Jack Wright (24 July 2020) MailOnline
  5. Moment megaphone wielding anti-mask activists storm Morrison's and demand shoppers 'resist the new world order' and take off their face-coverings that are 'so bad' for them by Dan Sales (10 August 2020) MailOnline
  6. Covid-deniers: What is going through the heads of people who think coronavirus isn't real by Conor Gogarty (19 September 2020) Bristol Live
  7. Tattooist ignores NHS after being on easyJet flight to Bristol Airport where passengers had coronavirus by Conor Gogarty (9 September 2020) Bristol Live
  8. Bristol tattooist continues to ignore NHS after being on easyJet flight with Covid cases by Conor Gogarty (11 September 2020) Bristol Live
  9. Bristol business ignores lockdown by staying open and says 'Covid doesn't exist' by Conor Gogarty (6 November 2020) Bristol Live
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Covid-deniers gather as Bristol shop stays open after police visit by Conor Gogarty (9 November 2020) Bristol Live
  11. Covid-deniers gather as Bristol shop stays open after police visit by Conor Gogarty (9 November 2020) Bristol Live
  12. Police officer tells lockdown breach tattoo artist Aron Walton: 'I'll leave you to it' by Conor Gogarty (12 November 2020) Bristol Live
  13. Locksmith forces entry to Aron Walton tattoo studio Holey Skin as police guard the scene by Conor Gogarty (13 November 2020) Bristol Live
  14. Man arrested and de-arrested as Holey Skin tattooist Aron Walton fined by Emma Grimshaw (13 November 2020) Bristol Live
  15. Aron Walton's tattoo studio must pay £1k as items seized from lockdown-flouting business by Conor Gogarty (16 November 2020) Bristol Live
  16. Bristol Holey Skin tattooist Aron Walton plans to reopen shop days after fine for lockdown breach by Conor Gogarty (18 November 2020) Bristol Live
  17. Bristol tattoo shop reopens saying Magna Carta means it can ignore lockdown by Conor Gogarty (25 November 2020) Bristol Live
  18. Bristol tattoo shop raided again as Aron Walton confronts officers over Magna Carta by Conor Gogarty (26 November 2020) Bristol Live
  19. Aaron Walton: Covid-denier who threatened to fine police must pay £20k by Conor Gogarty (10 August 2021) Bristol Live
  20. Anti-Vaccine Protesters Force Vaccination Clinic to Close by Martin Booth (21 August 2021) Bristol24/7
  21. Bristol tattooist to face trial for two alleged offences by Tristan Cork (15 November 2020) Bristol Live