Former heroin addict’s court fines slashed following appeal to magistrates

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court (stock image). Picture: ARCAHNT LIBRARY

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court (stock image). Picture: ARCAHNT LIBRARY - Credit: Gregg Brown

A recovering drug addict’s outstanding court fines have been slashed after magistrates heard he was turning his life around.

Matthew Farthing had been gradually paying off two of his three court fine accounts but still had £720 to settle.

The 40-year-old’s fines were mainly accrued for dodging train fares while addicted to heroin.

Farthing, of London Road, Ipswich, told South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court he had since kicked the habit and was actively seeking work in order to come off benefits.

Magistrates said they were prepared to remit each account to 10% of the outstanding balance, leaving Farthing to pay off about £70.

However, he must still pay all outstanding prosecution costs and statutory charges to provide compensation for the victims of crime.

When Farthing asked who were the victims for evading rail fares, he was bluntly told: “Taxpayers and passengers who pay for their tickets.”