Benefit tales

MORE than 30 magistrates have resigned in protest at a new court charge introduced by the Treasury.
Just last week one magistrate in South Tyneside walked out when he was forced to add the £150 tax and other fines when sentencing a homeless man who admitted stealing a 99p can of Red Bull.

And last night another magistrate told the Sunday Express why he “could not work one more day” after being forced to apply the levy on a man on benefits who had stolen meat for his family.

The criminal court charge, which came into effect in April after being introduced by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, ranges from £150 for anyone who pleads guilty to a summary offence at magistrates’ court up to £1,000 for those convicted after a trial of a more serious offence at magistrates’ court.

In the crown court, the charge ranges from £900 for…

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