Non-smoking woman forced to pay £650 fine for dropping cigarette in town she’d never been to

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He said he would take the clamp off only if I paid the outstanding fines of £650.

This sounds like a job for… Angle Grinder Man!


Buttle, Tuttle, whatever.


Simple mixup, government didn’t act like jerks and cleared it up.

Slow news day?


If you actually read the article, the government very much did act like jerks. They sent a constable to her house, who wouldn’t listen to reason and threatened to take her car if she didn’t pay and they still haven’t returned her money.


Years ago a friend of mine’s car was booted. He poured some epoxy into the key-hole and then called up to pay the fine. And then watched the authorities try to remove it…


I bet she forgot to file a 27B/6, too.


Bailiffs…terrible system, a hangover from the past when as an alternative you could be sent to prison for debt.

Here in East Somerset the district council has handed over collection of Council Tax to a certain multinational outsourcer. If people are unable to pay, they send the bailiffs in. And charge them for the cost of the bailiffs.
Often people cannot pay because they receive benefits and these have been late due to the incompetence or malice of Ian Duncan Smith’s department. So effectively one government department is late paying another government department. And who gets effectively fined? The one person who is not responsible.
Why is the outsourcer so keen to send in bailiffs? Because they own the bailiffs. So they actually make more money from people who are late paying than they do from those who are not.
tl;dr: this case in Wales is nothing, in some places you can be fined several hundred pounds and have your household goods taken away because of a late payment by a government department. Who suffer no sanctions at all.


Perhaps you should have used a picture of half naked woman as well Boing Boing. I mean if you are gonna generate click bait you may as well go the extra inch.


Right, in my book “not acting like jerks” would mean “providing an opportunity for this woman to show she wasn’t the litterbug they were looking for BEFORE taking away her transportation and forcing her to pay a hefty fine.”


No license plates in the UK? Don’t they have surveillance cameras all over the place? They couldn’t do a nicotine screen on the accused? What’s up with all of that?


They also aren’t even planning to change their procedures or fire the guy in question. I mean, it’s not US level “shoot you kid and send you a bill for the bullet” acting like a jerk, but it’s still totally unacceptable and they aren’t facing any consequences.


I read the article before posting. Refund forthcoming, after they admitted an error on their part in a public apology.

“Don’t smoke, never been to that town” would indeed fail to meet the burden of proof if I was a debt collector; people do all kinds of snakey things to dodge debts.

I still fail to see how this is BB worthy, and not just regional news.

We have taken steps to avoid this happening in future."

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That’s assuming you think the burden of proof should be on the person getting the boot and the fine instead of the people doing the booting and fining.

Disappointment in BB noted.


The initial burden of proof of course is on the debt collector. In this case their process had that burden met to its satisfaction and still got it wrong, which they acknowledged. She made some assertions that it doesn’t read like were backed up by any documentation, so of course the debt collector was unconvinced. I feel bad for her of course, and sure, the government maybe could issue some sort of compensation for being inconvenienced.


Terry Gilliam shot this movie decades ago. Is reality this hard up for ideas?


Here you go Trent. The great Edith Massey, aka Egg Lady.

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I guess the bigger shock for me is the connection between a non-automotive “crime” (littering) and the booting of her car for failure to pay the fines. Since when does the punishment of one type of minor infraction incur the loss of use of another, completely unrelated piece of private property?

I see this happening more and more and touches a little bit on the topic of civil forfeiture here in the US and how screwed up our court systems really are. Any legal experts care to comment on the veracity of the booting itself regardless to the case of mistaken identity?

Isn’t a bit like the cops raiding your home and confiscating the toaster because you were caught fishing without a license?


Um, no. I read this on the BBC app and it kind of sucks what happened to her. What if this happened to you? Your car is effectively seized because someone else littered and you have to pay a lot of money in order to keep your car, and you’re going to tell me that’s it’s no big deal? I know that I’d be pissed.


Come on, that would be good for several extra inches, at least.