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Pensioner unhappy with early jail release

UPI News Service, 09/28/2005 

A 73-year-old British woman jailed this week for refusing to pay $94.72 in property taxes is upset an anonymous donor got her released after only one day.

Sylvia Hardy of Exeter told the BBC Wednesday that prison officials told her she was being released Tuesday, just one day into her 7-day sentence because an anonymous donor calling himself "Mr. Brown" paid her outstanding tax bill of $94.72.

Her 24 hours in jail cost taxpayers $160, The Times of London said.

Hardy said that she wasn't sure of if "Mr. Brown" had been trying to assist or sabotage her protest at the rising rate of property tax.

Over the past four years the tax on her $230,000 flat has increased by 38 percent to $1,250 a year, compared with a rise of 6.8 percent in her weekly pension of $475 per week.

Asked whether she had committed a crime, she replied: "Oh yes. But throughout history bad laws very often had to be broken in order to get them changed, because people don't listen when you do the correct things."

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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