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Stupid Case File for March 27, 2006

Stupid Government, Stupid Woman - You Decide

Thanks to SCF readers Sue & David for yet another great story from across the big pond. We've had so much fun reading & sharing the stories they send over. It amazes us how creative some can get. Too bad some of that creativity wasn't associated with much common sense.

Courtesy of the Daily Mail

She claims more than £27,000 a year in benefits, smokes 40 cigarettes a day and has a taste for vodka. She has also been seen behind the wheel of a Land Rover Discovery.

But when Ellen Morris, 40, came before magistrates for driving while disqualified she escaped a fine by pleading poverty.

Not only that, she also had £1,800 worth of previous unpaid fines written off. Magistrates ordered her to remain in the court building for two hours as a token punishment in return for their generosity.

Morris, a mother of 13, who was banned from the roads for drink-driving last year, was stopped in the Discovery on January 30 and arrested for driving while disqualified.

But in court in Burnley this week, she claimed she could not afford any more fines.

The magistrates took pity and imposed a 12-month community order for the latest offence and cut her £2,831 of outstanding fines, imposed for the initial drink-driving charge and an accumulation of other offences, to £1,040.

Mary Thomas, chairman of the bench, said £20 a week would be deducted from her benefits to pay off the remainder and warned her she faced jail if she broke the law again.

She said: "have looked at your benefits and we think you can afford £20 a week. It is a punishment - you might not have to use your phone as much or smoke as much."

Magistrates have the power to reduce fines in cases of hardship or if they feel there is little chance of getting the money.

In return, they can order offenders to carry out a punishment - such as staying in the court building for the day.

Morris's two-hour penalty was effectively paying off her fines at a rate of £900 an hour.

The defendant, who says she enjoys nights out with friends at least twice a week, has 13 children by labourer Tony McKenzie, 50. He left after the youngest, Beckham, now four, was born.

She lives with her youngest nine, Liam, 16, Nicole, 15, Kieley, 13, Ryan, 11, Nathan, nine, Jordan, eight, Corey, seven, Leah, five, and Beckham. The other four, Zoe, 21, Jason, 20, Kieran, 18, and Aaron, 17, have left home.

She has been served with a parenting order for not sending her children to school for three months.

Among her other fines is £700 for 23 breaches of a noise abatement order imposed for playing loud music at her terrace home in Barrowford, Lancashire.

Morris has boasted that she wants more children with her new 28-year-old partner as it would make her eligible for more benefits and a larger house.

"I'd like another couple of kids," she told the Daily Mail last month. "Why not? It's not easy making the money stretch. They all want the latest gear and Nike trainers and I like Lacoste jumpers.

"Then there's my cigs. I smoke 40 a day and I like vodka and Coke. You've got to have some pleasures in life."

Morris said that although she receives £27,000 in benefits - £5,000 more than the average national salary - she needs to double the figure to live comfortably.

Last month, her mother Jean Morris, who lives in the same street, said: "We have tried telling her to get a job. She needs to get her act together. The sooner she moves the better."

Brigitte Chaudhry, founder of the charity Roadpeace, which campaigns on behalf of the victims of road accidents, said: "We are completely appalled by this. This is why the accident figures are not going down. Even when death and injury have been caused it is still not taken seriously enough."

She said the new Road Safety Bill, currently going through parliament, will change people's views on committing motoring offences.

It proposes a two-year jail sentence for motorists found guilty of driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.

A spokesman for the road safety charity Brake said they too were "appalled" by the decision to reduce the fines.


3 Comments:

Blogger Kimson said...

Wow, that "lady" sure is the definition of a chav.

March 28, 2006 12:15 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

Well she can't be called "unproductive"

March 29, 2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger Wildcat0695 said...

And I thought only American judges could be so lame. They must be all drinking from the same tap.

April 07, 2006 12:03 PM  

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