I am astounded. Following on from yesterday’s post about the women facing charges for dropping a cigarette end twice, I can now report that she was indeed stalked by a Jobsworth who actually had the audacity to brag about it in court before proceedings began.
The case against the lady in question resulted in total fines, costs and “victim surcharge” of £290. Obviously there is more to gain financially from prosecuting smokers than there is from the tax on each packet of fags they buy.
The court heard how the smoke policeman was in a car behind this lady when he saw her drop her fag end out of the window. I guess this must have irked him and played on his mind because a couple of weeks later, he saw her car again, saw her drop a cig end, but this time he followed, parked up where she did, and then went into her place of work to issue a £50 fixed penalty notice.
I went round to see the lady at home after the case. She wasn’t there but her friend told me that she didn’t have the money to pay. She didn’t appear at court because she had a medical problem due to an allergy. The case was proved in her absence after the Lincoln City Council prosecutor gave the “facts” as given to her by the jobsworth.
What I would say to all smokers who find themselves in a similar position is to make sure you do appear in court and plead not guilty unless the alleged cigarette end is produced as evidence and it has been tested for your DNA. After all, in this case, it doesn’t appear that the Jobsworth picked up the cig end. The court just took his word for what happened and there was no one there to challenge it.
And be sure to look behind you in the car or on the street as you smoke because you just don’t know who might be watching with pen and clipboard in hand.
It would be great if the Pro-Choice movement had a fund to support these law abiding people who fall foul of bad legislation which is more about tax collection than “justice”. If anyone wants to help this lady pay her fine, as they did for landlord Nick Hogan, then let me know.
I have no regular work at present but I’d be happy to put a tenner in the pot. Are there 289 other people who would like to donate the same?
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