I'll go to jail over £75 fine for sticker – store owner
A HULL woman fined £75 after a sticker for her company was found on a signpost says she will go to prison rather than pay the penalty.
Hull City Council contacted Elaine Hakim of Hullaballoon two weeks ago to say they had photographic evidence she had "committed an offence of displaying an unlawful advertisement".
Mrs Hakim was told to pay the £75 for offences under the Antisocial Behaviour Act and Highways Act within 14 days after the sign appeared on a lamppost in Ferensway.
Now, Mrs Hakim says she is prepared to go to court to prove her innocence – and says she would rather be behind bars than pay for something she did not do.
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She said: "I received a call from the council this week, saying that if I did not pay the fine I would go to court.
"I will not pay for something that I did not do. I've never been in trouble with the law and have a completely clean record – this could put all that at risk.
"But this stupid law needs changing and I am prepared to go to jail if needs be."
Mrs Hakim, who founded her business more than three years ago, said she had received support from customers as well as fellow businesses. And even her mum has thrown her support behind her.
Mrs Hakim said: "I told my mum I was not going to take this lying down and said I am prepared to go to prison – she said 'good on you'."
Mrs Hakim said she is now putting her neck on the line to help other businesses in a similar situation.
"I've heard about other businesses who have received fines for something they say they didn't do, such as posters or flyers in the city centre.
"However, they said it was easier to pay it than go to court.
"That cannot be right.
"If companies are going to get fined every time somebody puts one of their stickers or leaflets on a lamppost, then where will it stop?
"Any business that wanted to get one over on their competitors could easily stick one of their logos on a wall or post, and if they had to pay £75 each time it would eventually force them out of business."
A council spokeswoman said: "Given this is an ongoing case, it's inappropriate to comment."