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5/20/2007
UK: Jail Time Threatened Over $70 in Court Costs
Cheshire County, UK court threatens to jail a mom for a week because she refuses to lie in court or pay unnecessary court costs.

Northwich Magistrates Court
A Cheshire, UK mother is being threatened with a week in jail after she refused to pay £35 (US $70) in court costs. The dispute originated with a speed camera photograph showing a Toyota Corolla belonging to Jenny Clark, 34, moving at an estimated 46 MPH in a 40 zone on the A556 in Sandiway in November.

Clark does not know who was driving at the time, as several people have access to the car. She agreed to pay the £60 (US $120) fine and take three license demerit points to end the matter, but Clark would not lie and say that she was behind the wheel, as police insisted she do. As a result, police are prosecuting her in Northwich Magistrates' Court, generating the court cost fee.

As a matter of principle, Clark refuses to pay the fee since she offered to resolve the matter months ago by agreeing to pay the speed camera fine. She found it outrageous that lying was the only means of escaping the extra fee.

"If it was me driving that car I would put up my hand and take the blame, but we have wracked our brains and have no idea who was driving," Clark said in court Friday, as reported by the Chester Chronicle newspaper. "It is ludicrous -- how can I possibly say I am guilty when I wasn't driving? This involves a police investigation and at least three court hearings -- what a waste of taxpayers' money."

Source: Mum could go to jail over a GBP35 dispute (Chester Chronicle (UK), 5/18/2007)

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