Acquittal of woman for cigarette butt fine

In a promising verdict, a court has acquitted a mother on the charge of dropping a cigarette butt. The fine was given out by the private company, XFOR, which is paid on commission by the council to fine people for littering offences.

This pay-as-they-punish justice is liable to create over-hasty and erratic punishment. So this aquittal is promising and a sign that the courts can act as a check on unjust fines. As the mother put it, “They should get proof before they go accusing people.”

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