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Patty Mark Sentenced to Prison for Rescuing Animals
July 12, 2005 Victoria, Australia

Refusal To Pay Fines Ignored By Magistrate

Magistrate Barry Docking today ordered Patty Mark, President of Animal Liberation Victoria to serve 17 days in prison for non-payment of fines she received while giving aid and rescue to sick, injured and dying animals. However in a bizarre twist, the magistrate then stayed the order until September 1, 2005, giving Ms Mark a further 50 days to pay the fines, some due nine years ago. The magistrate's action essentially disregarded normal procedure of the law.

Magistrate Barry Docking in the Melbourne Magistrates Court stated that while he "could be as sympathetic as [he] like[d]" he had no choice but to impose the jail term on Ms. Mark as she refused to pay the fines or do community service on ethical grounds.

Before the Magistrate, Ms Mark stated: "It goes against everything I believe to pay these fines. Even the option to do community service would send the message that I believe I have done something wrong when, in fact, I know I have done the right thing." The courtroom was packed with 30 supporters.

Patty Mark said outside the court:

"Battery hens live in hell, their suffering is constant, continual and without relief. Our rescue teams will step up our efforts to rescue animals suffering in factory farms. The Goverment and RSPCA are turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering these birds endure. And by releasing me today the courts are also turning a blind eye to our sincere and dedicated efforts to give aid and rescue to dying animals confined in factory farms. Our rescue team has bascially been given the go ahead to continue helping these animals who are invisible before the law."

Patty Mark and supporters outside court

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