Essex

Old court cells used as set for porn film in Colchester

The former Cells restaurant Image copyright Google
Image caption The cells at the former Colchester's Magistrates' Court were turned into a prison-themed restaurant

Cells inside a former magistrates' court were used to shoot a porn film, a "shocked" council has said.

A security guard at Colchester Town Hall went to investigate after "hearing sounds" from the disused part of the building.

He discovered a group of actors inside a former restaurant housed in old court cells, the Daily Gazette reported.

Colchester Borough Council said it has "taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again".

The prison-themed restaurant, which closed in 2017, had been based in converted cells at the Grade I listed Town Hall complex.

They were formerly used to hold defendants waiting to appear at the town's magistrates' court before it was moved.

'Against the agreement'

The authority said the film shoot was discovered on 13 December, with the Gazette reporting that an actress was caught "filming a scene over a gas cooker".

A council spokesman said: "We were shocked to discover what was taking place in the property, and as soon as we became aware took immediate legal action to stop it as quickly as possible.

"The property is leased by us to a tenant who appeared to have allowed a third party to use it.

"Not only is sub-letting the premises against the lease agreement, the activity for which it was used is obviously something we definitely would not condone, and we have therefore taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again."

The council could not say what legal action had been taken.

The tenants did not wish to comment when contacted by the BBC.

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