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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Tax protest donor gives apology
Josephine Rooney protests outside Derby Magistrates' Court
Miss Rooney has insisted she did not want her tax bill paid
The man who paid council tax protester Josephine Rooney's bill to secure her release from prison has apologised.

Miss Rooney, 69, was jailed for refusing to pay Derby City Council in protest over the state of her street.

Ed McGrath, 68, from Little Bookham in Surrey, was forced to apologise after Miss Rooney complained his payment of 800 had undermined her stand.

He said: "If Miss Rooney is upset I apologise to her personally and I hope that she can forgive me."

(Prison) discipline was hard but no worse than a convent boarding school in the 1950s in Ireland
Josephine Rooney
After her release, Miss Rooney said: "The person who did this has no respect for my campaign - I am very angry about it."

Mr McGrath was moved to intervene by the three-month sentence, which he felt was far too long.

He added: "I hope if she goes to prison again it will be for a far shorter period."

Miss Rooney said the experience of prison, Foston Hall, was not too bad.

"It was a clean, safe and secure environment. The discipline was hard but no worse than a convent boarding school in the 1950s in Ireland," she said.

Miss Rooney's arrears dated back to 2004.

Benefactor pays protester's bill
27 Jun 06 |  Derbyshire
Jail 'shocks' tax protest brother
27 Jun 06 |  Derbyshire
Council tax protester is jailed
26 Jun 06 |  Derbyshire

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