Three people have been ordered to serve prison sentences after failing to address unpaid fines, in a landmark ruling at Dungannon court.
Mark David Graham (45) from Church View, Donaghmore; Tracey Smyth (33) from Newtownsaville Road, Augher and Mary Kane (36) from Farlough Road, Dungannon were all fined for separate offences and found to have failed to pay after recent statistics were identified by the Department of Justice.
All were summonsed to East Tyrone Magistrates Court several weeks ago on fine default actions but none took action to fully discharge their fines.
As is now procedure in such instances, District Judge John Meehan initiated the next step and ordered committal warrants on the three in their absence. Going by the individual fines owed, none of which nor the offences for which they were imposed, were disclosed at court, the defaulters will be notified they are to be jailed forthwith.
Graham and Kane are to serve five days in custody and Smyth is to serve four days. These are the first fine defaulters to be ordered to serve custodial sentences at East Tyrone Magistrates Court under new guidelines for failing to pay fines or address notification of action to recover the funds.