Squatter imprisoned under new Act
In the article "Get off my land ... and into jail" dated16 May 2012, we discussed the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishmentof Offenders Act 2012 ("the Act") and in particular how squattersof residential properties could find themselves in prison by virtueof Section 144 of the Act.
The Act came into force on 1 September 2012 as planned. AlexHaigh, a 21 year old apprentice bricklayer now has the dubioushonour of becoming the first person to be jailed under the Acthaving been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guiltyto occupying a housing association property in Pimlico, Londonwithout consent.
Mr Haigh, Anthony Ismond and Michelle Blake were arrested on2 September 2012 at what was, prior to their occupation, an emptyflat. All three were charged with breaching Section 144 ofAct.
Mr Ismond was fined £100 for squatting and recalled to prisonfor being in breach of licence. Ms Blake, who also pleaded guilty,is to be sentenced at a later date.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.