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Mum faces jail over late payment of €1,400 fine

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Mum faces jail over late payment of €1,400 fine
Sara González, with her two daughters, blames her legal team for her current predicament. Photo: change.org
14:00 CET+01:00
A 29-year-old mother of two young children has been told she will have to go to prison for six months after she was late in paying a €1,400 ($1,650) fine related to a crime she committed five years ago.

In 2009, Sara González, 29, found a wallet on the street and rather than handing it in to police, used the bank cards inside to buy mobile phones, which she then sold to make money to buy food.

Now, five years later, after having paid the compensation for the money she stole, González, mother of two little girls, will have to serve six months in prison for not paying on time the €1,440 fine she received instead of a prison sentence. 

"I was working in the hotel industry at the time”, González told Spanish newspaper El País, "but they gave me the minimum number of hours because I wasn't well (she was suffering from anorexia and bulimia at the time). I started to steal from my mother because of my illness and finally, in 2009, I made my mistake: I found a wallet under a car and used the cards."

González's mother has now started a petition on change.org to collect signatures to protest against her daughters impending incarceration.

"She is a very different person today to the one who committed a small error back in 2009," she told Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Spain's main opposition party, the Socialists, tweeted: "It is immoral not to pardon young mother Sara González, who has been sentenced to prison for a fine of €1,440. We demand the government pardons her."

In 2012 González was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for identity fraud which was suspended due to the fact that this was her first offence and she had paid back the money she owed.

She was also sentenced to six months in prison for fraud which was commuted to a €1,400 fine.

It was this fine she paid back late, the fault, she says, of a series of errors made by her legal team.

She now faces six months away from her young children pending whether the courts will hear a last ditch appeal. 

 

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