Squatter imprisoned under new Act

In the article "Get off my land ... and into jail" dated 16 May 2012, we discussed the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ("the Act") and in particular how squatters of residential properties could find themselves in prison by virtue of Section 144 of the Act. 

The Act came into force on 1 September 2012 as planned. Alex Haigh, a 21 year old apprentice bricklayer now has the dubious honour of becoming the first person to be jailed under the Act having been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to occupying a housing association property in Pimlico, London without consent. 

Mr Haigh, Anthony Ismond and Michelle Blake were arrested on 2 September 2012 at what was, prior to their occupation, an empty flat. All three were charged with breaching Section 144 of Act. 

Mr Ismond was fined £100 for squatting and recalled to prison for being in breach of licence. Ms Blake, who also pleaded guilty, is to be sentenced at a later date.

Posted on: 04/10/2012

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.

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