Friday, February 08, 2013

Woman fined for 'blinging' her electronic tag

A Tamworth, Staffordshire, woman ordered to wear an electronic tag must pay £140 to the courts after 'blinging' the item with fake diamonds. Rebecca Gallanagh, aged 22, has hit out at the justice system for wasting time and money after she appeared before Burton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. She had used nail glue to attach dozens of diamante diamonds to the strap of the tag, even spelling out her initials. But prosecutors from company Serco Home Affairs, who fitted the equipment, argued that decorating the item, which was attached to her ankle, "compromised the integrity" of it.

And magistrates told the Stonydelph resident during a 20-minute hearing that she had committed a "very serious offence". She was handed a £35 fine, reduced from £55 due to her early guilty plea, along with £85 court costs and a £20 victim support surcharge. Speaking after her court appearance, Rebecca said that the matter had been taken too far. She said: "It's petty. I wouldn't have wasted my time doing it if I knew I was going to be fined for it. It's a waste of time and money. There are all these people who go out and breach their orders and then they [prosecute] me for decorating a tag, it's just not right.

"I was actually proud of decorating the tag at the time. I wanted to make it look nice while I had it strapped to me around the house, it was a personal thing. [Serco] say I damaged the tag but I didn't – I didn't touch the sensor, it was still working and I was being monitored. When they removed the strap they told me they were going to throw it away anyway." Rebecca was fitted with the monitoring equipment on November 15 for committing a public order offence after fighting outside a nightclub last year.

She was put under a strict curfew order, where she was required to stay at her home address between the hours of 9pm and 7am for three months. She had to give up her job as a bar assistant at Strykers Bowl, which she hopes to return to. The new tag was removed at 9pm on Tuesday – the day she appeared before magistrates. Mark Moore, who represented Rebecca in court, said: "This is a young girl who was coming up to Christmas, there were opportunities where she was out and about and she was trying to make the tag look nice." Prosecutors for Serco said that decorating the strap "could affect the device",but admitted that there had been no other breach of Rebecca's curfew order.

1 comment:

BoS said...

Her attitude shows conclusively that tagging is not an effective punishment. They should have just locked her up for criminal damage.