Wednesday, March 10, 2010

See what we can do?

Bolton smoking ban landlord freed from jail

Nick Hogan
Nick Hogan lost his job after he was convicted of breaching the ban

A former pub landlord who flouted the smoking ban has been released from prison after a campaign to raise funds to secure his release.

Nick Hogan, 43, was sentenced to six months for failing to pay fines for smoking ban breaches at his two pubs.

Hogan, of Chorley, was found guilty of breaching the smoking ban at the Swan and the Barristers pubs in Bolton.

More than £9,000 was raised by well-wishers to pay off his fines and he has been freed after 11 days.

The original hearing was told that on the day the ban came into force he organised a "mass light-up" in the two pubs.

The smoking ban has cost me my pub, my job and my liberty
Nick Hogan, released ex-landlord

He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £7,136 in costs.

His wife Denise, 53, said that following the conviction her husband lost his job and was unable to keep up with the £125-a-week fine payments.

The campaign to pay Hogan's fines was launched by blogger Anna Raccoon with the help of fellow libertarian blogger Old Holborn, who set up an account so people could donate online.

Within 36 hours more than £5,000 had been raised and by the end of last week donations totalled more than £9,000.

Fines paid

Mr Hogan was released from HMP Forest Bank in Salford earlier, after the sum owed was handed over in cash to the authorities.

Mr Hogan said: "I'm devastated to be sent to jail.

"The smoking ban has cost me my pub, my job and my liberty.

"I'd like to thank everyone who donated money to get me out of jail, and all the well-wishers who sent me cards and letters while I was behind bars. I can't thank them enough."

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' lobby group Forest which supported the campaign, said: "We don't condone people breaking the law but we do condemn the draconian nature of the anti-smoking legislation that has resulted in a previously law-abiding man losing his business and going to jail."

From the BBC. Yes, I know. I can't believe it either...


Corrugated Soundbite said...

Even the Daily Wail are running with it. Perhaps G.O.T was right when he said 2010 would be the year of the blogosphere...

Justice done by two honest bloggers and a mere 1,000 hard-working donators. This is why I'm finished with the compliant MSM.

And finally, off topic, but glad to see you back with us by the way, Rab ;-)

RantinRab said...

Yep, I'm back! Got my blogging mojo back, glad to say.

Pavlov's Cat said...

From the BBC. Yes, I know. I can't believe it either...

I know amazing, There's even a quote from FOREST.

But as I mention on my own blog I expect a counter quote from the Govt Ass Felchers ASH to be added anytime soon.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yes it will be brief, but worth striking while the iron is hot.

It's about time they started to listen to the large anti-prohibition majority for a change (it's not a smoking issue but a liberty one).

banned said...

Congratulations all round, especially for Anna and OH.