Poll tax prison sentence quashed

The High Court has ruled that a man under the age of 21 was wrongly jailed for failing to pay his poll tax without being given a chance to pay off his debts. John Ashley, now 21, was sentenced to 28 days' youth custody by Newcastle-under-Lyme magistrates in January for defaulting on a pounds 709 bill.

Mr Justice Laws said magistrates had not taken into account that prison should be a last resort for offenders under 21.

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