An Antrim man has been fined a single penny in a landmark court case over the Northern Ireland electoral register.
Ian Withers, 68, Steeple Road, became the first man in the UK to be fined for not giving personal information for the NI Electoral Register.
He refused to give his National Insurance number and ended up being arrested for electoral fraud.
A district judge told Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday that this was "appalling".
Mr Withers contested the charge against him.
His defence lawyer told the court that a "Big Brother" state was seeking to criminalise his client for not giving information for an electoral register that he did not even have to be on.
"There's no legislation before parliament in England, Scotland or Wales for a case like this," he said.
"But in Northern Ireland a man can be criminalised for failing to give a National Insurance number.
"He has been subjected to a horrendous affair at the hands of the state and has even been accused of electoral fraud."
Chief Electoral Officer Douglas Bain was called as a witness.
He said a person would commit an offence if they failed to provide information when requested.
Up to 10 names had gone to the police for similar offences, Mr Bain said.
"He doesn't have to be on this register, but once he applies to be, he legally has to provide information when requested," Mr Bain explained.
The Public Prosecutor told the judge that the arrest for suspected electoral fraud was "a mistake".
The judge said this was appalling but decided a fine of one penny should be imposed.