Friday, July 04, 2008
Here's an anecdote I heard in a magistrates' training session yesterday:
A young, single mother was found guilty of shoplifting and the magistrates decided to fine her. But before they could decided on the amount, she had to fill in a means form to show her monthly income.
She promptly completed the form and it was passed up to the bench. Suddenly the chairman's face turned white and he glared at the woman, muttering 'This is outrageous!'. The clerk asked him what the matter was and the chairman showed her the form.
In the column headed Monthly Income, the woman had written 'F- All'.
The chairman was just about to lecture her on contempt of court when the clerk quickly pointed out that this stood for Family Allowance.