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CPS drops case against Ludlow Quaker who refused to complete census
THE court case against a Ludlow quaker prosecuted for refusing to fill in his census form has been dropped.
The case against John Voysey, pictured, a pacifist from Adforton who will soon turn 83, was discontinued because of long delays, the day before he was due back before a Wrexham court last Friday.
Mr Voysey refused to complete the national questionnaire because he says the company employed by the Government to process the information has links to weapons manufacturing.
But after several court appearances the conscientious objector received a notice of discontinuance.
"The whole thing was a nonsense anyway," he told the Advertiser.
Mr Voysey, a member of the Ludlow Quakers group, was not given a reason for the prosecution being discontinued.
But in a statement issued to the Advertiser, the CPS said the decision was taken because of delays, which meant the case was no longer in the public interest.
“It opens a whole can of worms for others,” said Mr Voysey, who was being prosecuted under the 1920 Census Act.
“If they are dropping the cases of some way are they not dropping the others?"
He said the government's decision to award Lockheed Martin UK the contract to process the census ignored ethical issues.
The company’s major programmes include the Royal Navy’s Multi-Mission Helicopter, the C-130J Tactical Airlifter and support to the Trident Weapons System.
Mr Voysey became a conscientious objector in 1947 after he was conscripted into the armed forces.
He carried out hard labour in forests as an alternative.
The ONS had referred 369 cases to the CPS with 157 brought to court.
Those found guilty face a maximum fine of £1,000 and a criminal record.
Anthony Hobbs, spokesman for the CPS in Wales, said the case was originally due to be moved to Bristol Magistrates Court, so it could be dealt alongside a similar case, but the transfer of the case between different courts led to delays.
He added: “In the light of the delays in bringing the case to court, our latest review concluded it is no longer in the public interest to pursue the case against Mr Voysey.”