- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 14, 2014

A 91-year-old man escaped a hefty late fine when he returned a library book he checked out 61 years ago. Former University of Liverpool student Ron Webster checked out the book in 1953 when he was working as a research assistant during his postgraduate studies on social sciences.

Librarians decided to overlook the fee, which totaled 4,510 pounds, ($7,651), the universityreported Friday.

Mr. Webster realized his error when he was thinning out his extensive collection of books and decided to return the book to the university during a trip to his old stomping grounds with his son-on-law, Rick Walker.


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Ron had been warned very firmly by the friends he plays cards with at the local pub that he would be landed with an enormous fine, and feel the full force of the law,” Mr. Walker said, the university reported.

However, library staff members dropped the fine, amazed that the book was even being returned.

University librarian Phil Sykes said staff members at the front desk called him immediately when Mr. Webster showed up with the book.

“When I came down they were sat with him having a cup of tea and a chat and I said, ‘I believe I’ve got a disciplinary issue to deal with,’” the university reported.

“Of course, I cannot condone the late return of books but I remitted the fine of 4,510 pounds on the condition that Mr Webster agreed, henceforth, to live an exemplary life and return all his books on time.”