Now We Know: Bedazzling Your Ankle Monitor is Not OK

22-year-old Rebecca Gallanagh decorated her ankle monitor while on house arrest -- and got fined. (Photo: Mikey Jones/Caters News)22-year-old Rebecca Gallanagh decorated her ankle monitor while on house arrest -- and got fined. (Photo: Mikey …There are some things in life that aren't improved by glue and glitter. Certain sensitive body parts, for example. And the electronic monitoring device you've been ordered to wear on your ankle after being involved in a bar brawl.

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In November, Rebecca Gallanagh of Tamworth, Staffordshire, England was convicted of a public order offense when she got caught up in a fight outside a nightclub near home. Her sentence: To stay home from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. for three months, which meant that she was off the party circuit and couldn't keep her night job at a local bar. The ugly police-issued anklet -- also called an ankle monitor, or a tether -- was there to make sure she didn't break curfew.

Rebecca Gallanagh's blinged-out anklet. We're not sure it's an improvement. (Photo: Caters News Service)Rebecca Gallanagh's blinged-out anklet. We're not sure it's an improvement. (Photo: Caters News Service)Irritated by the plain gray plastic, she decided to decorate it by covering it in rows of tiny fake diamonds (she even carefully spelled out her initials on one side). The 22-year-old told The Daily Mail that she was inspired by an episode of "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding."

"I did it to make me feel better about wearing it," she said. "I wanted to make it look nice while I had it strapped to me around the house. It was a personal thing."

"I saw pictures of it online and checked the leaflet, and nowhere did it say I couldn't decorate it," she added. She also insists that the staff member who fitted her with the electronic device told her she could decorate it however she wanted.

It apparently didn't occur to her that the monitoring device wasn't hers to keep -- or that you're not supposed to feel good about having to wear one. When she moved back in with her parents in December and needed to be fitted with a new monitor, the Serco Home Affairs authorities were angry about her creative customization.

"Serco say I damaged the tag, but I didn't," Gallanagh told The Daily Mail. "I didn't touch the sensor, it was still working and I was being monitored."

Still, they insisted that the device couldn't be reused -- and on Tuesday they slapped her with a $220 fine.

Her mother April, 48, calls the penalty "pathetic." Gallanagh's lawyer argued that the fake jewels were totally justified.

"This is a young girl who was coming up to Christmas," her lawyer, Mark Moore, told The Daily Mail. "There were opportunities where she was out and about, and she was trying to make the tag look nice."

"I was quite proud of it. I like to bling things up, and wear blingy clothes and watches," Gallanagh said. But the time she was had finished gluing on dozens of crystals, "It just matched my style."

We understand that the device is unattractive. But just because it's an anklet doesn't mean it's jewelry. People aren't supposed admire your pretty electronic monitoring device, is what we're saying.

Now anklet-free, Gallaghan says she's learned her lesson, and she didn't decorate the other device she received after moving back in with her parents. But she still thinks it's unfair she was fined for daring to decorate her first one.

"I wouldn't have wasted my time doing it if I knew I was going to be fined for it," she said. "It's a massive waste of time and money. There are all these people who go out and breach their orders, and all I've done is decorate my tag -- that's just not right."

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