A British woman who decided to add a little style to her court-ordered electronic monitoring tag has ended up with a $221 fine.
Rebecca Gallanagh from the town of Tamworth, near Birmingham, was convicted of fighting outside a nightclub in November, and was fitted with the tag to ensure she didn’t breach a 9pm — 7am curfew imposed by the court, reports the Tamworth Herald.
With the holiday party season just around the corner, the style-savvy former bar worker spelled out her initials on the tag’s strap using fake diamonds and nail glue.
But when she moved home in December she had to be fitted with a new tag. That was when workers from Serco Home Affairs, the company that fits the tags, saw the embellishments and reported her to the authorities, writes the Herald.
Speaking outside court, Gallanagh, 22, railed against the British justice system for wasting time and money prosecuting her, the Sun reports.
“It’s petty. I wouldn’t have wasted my time doing it if I knew I was going to be fined for it,” she said.
Insisting that her modifications didn’t touch the tag’s sensor, she said, “I did it to make me feel better about wearing it. I was quite proud of it. I like to bling things up, and wear blingy clothes and watches. It just matched my style,” reports the Daily Mail.
She claims that when Serco staff fitted the tag they told her she would be allowed to decorate it, reports the Birmingham Mail.
But Serco later defended the decision to prosecute her, telling the Tamworth Herald:
“When an electronic monitoring device is fitted to an offender it is made clear to them that they must not interfere or tamper with the device in any way.
“The tag is not a fashion accessory and using glue and [fake diamonds] to decorate it can interfere with its performance.”