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Council Tax Debtor receives suspended custodial sentence pending repayment order

Carousel Riverbank House

Torridge District Council were last week in Court to proceed with a case of non-payment of Council Tax that spanned many years. The court supported the Councils case and handed down a suspended custodial sentence pending a time bound payment order for the defendant to pay off what they owe. The Councils actions came at the end of a lengthy process which gave the defendant numerous opportunity to make arrangements to pay down the debt. It sends a clear message that if you choose not to pay your Council Tax then there is a high probability that you may receive a custodial sentence.    

Councillor David Hurley - Lead Member for Customer Services and Deputy Leader of the Council said:

"It is regretful that on occasion when all other avenues of recovery had been exhausted that the council has been forced to take committal proceedings for non payment through the magistrates court. In this case the debtor was found guilty of culpable neglect and was issued with a suspended prison sentence for 90 days and ordered to pay the outstanding debt on arrangement. They were simultaneously advised that should they default on any payment then they will need to attend court again and would be imprisoned for the 90 days. This action by the Council shows the importance of paying Council Tax and that any avoidance is deemed a serious offence and it is regrettable that this course of action has had to be taken. It does, however, show to the vast numbers of residents who do pay their Council Tax, that non payment will not be tolerated."