Was listening to Joe Duffy today when a mother rang in to say how her son had been jailed for 46 days for non payment of a litter fine.
For anyone who wants to try and listen to the podcast the call was made around 2.40pm today 13/10/10. EDIT: Here is the link
.Scroll it across to the time of 1.03.38 for the part
From what I understand of the call it appears the man had lost his job as a plumber and was unemployed but was attending college.
He had previously gone to a recycling centre and recycled some glass bottles and left the cardboard box behind. CCTV caught him leaving the box and recorded his number plate.
As I understand it he received the fine of €150, and for what ever reason it had now amounted to over €2,000.
The mother and her son and wrote to the Department of Justice asking for a reduction in the fine or to be able to pay be instalments, however no reply was received and despite numerous telephone calls still there was no response.
Today the Gardai arrived and arrested the man and took him to prision.
Now I have to say the lad was foolish no ignore the origional fine of €150 and allow it to mount up to over €2,000. However this once again highlights the unfairness of our laws where someone can be jailed for leaving a cardbox box at a recycling centre and yet people who have put this country into a mess are allowed to walk around free as a bird.
How mucgh will the jailing of this man cost the taxpayer?
Its time our laws were relooked at, why couldnt the court simply be allowed to deduct weekly payments of €5 from his unemployment benefits instead of allowing the fine to mount up and then jailing him?