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Collect £500 and you get out of jail

PUBLISHED: 16:12 21 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

BUSINESSMEN and women found themselves bound and handcuffed and desperately trying to get out of jail in a bid to raise money for charity.

A town crier and three burly policemen were on hand to make the arrests of 15 high profile business people who had to pay their way out of jail to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

BUSINESSMEN and women found themselves bound and handcuffed and desperately trying to get out of jail in a bid to raise money for charity.

A town crier and three burly policemen were on hand to make the arrests of 15 high profile business people who had to pay their way out of jail to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Once arrested they were hauled into a police van and taken to Christchurch mansions where they were finger printed, photographed and held until they raised more than £500 bail money to secure their release.

It was prison with a difference however as the 'inmates' were treated to coffee and biscuits while they desperately phoned around friends, colleagues and business contacts to help them get the funds.

This is the fifth year running that the charity have pulled the successful fundraising stunt and this year they are hoping to top the £10,000 marker.

Tim Sparrow, Asda store manager was one of the first people to be 'arrested' this morning.

He said: "I was called to the front of the store – it was certainly not a low profile arrest.

"They are doing a lot of fundraising on the shop floor shaking buckets and getting pledges off people.

"It is just a very good cause to raise money for."

Tina Ellis, district manager for the Job Centre Employment Service was setting her sights across the county to raise money.

She said: "I am district manager for Suffolk so I am going all around the county for my contacts.

"I have done quite a lot of ringing round and people are happy to give me money.

"One of my staff suggested that I do it – I don't know whether it was just that the staff wanted to keep me in here."

Nikki Radcliffe, area fundraising manager for the RNIB said that the money raised would be going towards making day to day life easier for blind people by adapting gadgets such as tape measures and clocks to make sure the blind can use them.

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