28/09/2012

21-Year-Old Man First To Be Jailed For Squatting

A 21-year-old man has become the first person to be jailed for squatting.

Police arrested Alex Haigh at a flat in Pimlico on 2 September, he had arrived in London from Plymouth two months ago.

Haigh pleaded guilty to squatting in a residential property and was jailed for 12 weeks by Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the new law is enabling "quick and decisive action to protect homeowners".

Squatting was previously treated as a civil matter. The maximum penalty is now six months in jail, a £5,000 fine, or both.

Haigh and two other people, Anthony Ismond and Michelle Blake had been squatting at the housing association property in Cumberland Street.

All three men were charged and later pleaded guilty to squatting.

Ismond was fined £100 for squatting and recalled to prison on breach of licence while Blake will be sentenced at a later date.

(H)


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