Jailed for not paying Council Tax

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE man has been jailed for seven weeks after failing to pay more than �2,200 in Council Tax.

Colin Doherty, 44, accrued the arrears between 2007 and 2010, and had repeatedly avoided repaying the money to Huntingdonshire District Council.

The council attempted to obtain payment, firstly by trying to make payment arrangements with Doherty, and then by instructing bailiffs to remove his possessions for sale at auction. However, these attempts were unsuccessful.

On Wednesday, August 31, Huntingdon magistrates sentenced Doherty, of Apple Tree Close, Yaxley, to 49 days in prison.

The court heard that Doherty was originally found guilty of culpable neglect – having sufficient money to pay the debt, but failing to do so – in 2008.

At that time his sentence was suspended, while he paid �100 every month, but the payments stopped in November 2009.

He was then brought back to court on three further occasions, when he agreed to maintain payments, but he defaulted on the court order.

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He failed to attend a court date on August 23, and magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested on August 31, and attended court where magistrates activated his suspended prison sentence.

Councillor Terry Rogers, executive councillor for resources and customer services, said: “Some people may feel that the use of court action is a harsh measure, but there comes a point when we are left with very little option.

“The majority of our residents pay on time by direct debit. The action we are taking now ensures that these customers don’t pay extra council tax just because of the few who have not paid theirs.”

INFORMATION: Anyone who has arrears but has not made arrangements to pay can contact Huntingdonshire District Council’s recovery team on 01480 388030.