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#655146 - 19th Jan 2012 11:25am Grandad risks jail for refusing to pay Census fine
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Wirral grandad Derek Shields risks jail after refusing to pay Census fine

MERSEYSIDE grandad Derek Shields said he would rather go to prison than pay a fine for refusing to complete last year’s Census form.
Derek Shields, 57, was the first person in the country to contest a trial for failing to complete the 2011 national survey.
The father-of-two said he objected to the role of US arms firm Lockheed Martin in gathering the data on behalf of the Office for National Statistics.
The unemployed motor mechanic was found guilty of failing to comply and fined £75 plus £110 costs.

But he said he would rather go to prison than pay the penalty.

Shields, who defended himself at Liverpool magistrates told the court: “I’ve only got one thing to say and that is I’m a Christian and I wouldn’t get into bed with an arms dealer.”

Wendy Scott, prosecuting, told how non-compliance officers visited Shields’ Patterson Street home in Birkenhead and asked if he had completed the form.

Shields told them: “No, I’m not doing it, mate. It’s all going to an arms firm.” He then shut the door.
Chairman of the bench Mary Wright heard evidence that Shields was living in “dire poverty” and had made a “conscientious objection”.
She told him: “I have heard all the evidence and do understand you have deep religious beliefs and we have also heard about the part you play in the local community.
“However, we are here to enforce the law. Everyone in the country has to compete the Census. You have not put forward a defence today that changes that.”

Shields, who was advised by the court to “consider his position”, told the bench: “If I pay the fine it is saying I have done something wrong. I’ve not done anything wrong. I’m not doing anything that the Lord Jesus wouldn’t do.”

He has 28 days to pay his first £5 weekly instalment.
The ONS and Lockheed Martin declined to comment on the case.


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#655217 - 19th Jan 2012 1:19pm Re: Grandad risks jail for refusing to pay Census fine [Re: ]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9762
Loc: Birkenhead
The UK Government is also an arms dealer.

Previous thread about Census dodging


Edited by diggingdeeper (19th Jan 2012 1:21pm)
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When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#655232 - 19th Jan 2012 1:34pm Re: Grandad risks jail for refusing to pay Census fine [Re: ]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5349
Loc: Birkenhead
Yep, we are an arms dealer too and I bet Shields doesn't mind taking his benefit money us. What a stupid thing to go to jail for. The census is needed as well to enable the right amounts of money to be doled out, it's not all just a nosey thing, it has practical purposes.
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