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Prison sentences for residents who failed to pay their council tax

Date: 26/09/2008           Category: Finance

A 52-year-old man from Gillingham and a 46-year-old woman from Chatham have been sent to prison after failing to pay their council tax. Medway magistrates sentenced Trudy Pack of Keyes Avenue, Chatham, to 42 days' imprisonment after she failed to settle her bill £2,453.07. A warrant was issued for her commital, which was served on Monday, 22 September by agents acting on behalf of Medway Council. She has now been take to HMP Bronzefield in Middlesex to serve her sentence. Her council tax bill dates back to 2001. Despite a previous court appearance last September, when she paid £90, she failed to keep up her payments. Magistrates also sentenced Stephen Gotts of Jeyes Road, Gillingham, to 43 days' imprisonment after he failed to settle his bill of £1,629.61, which dates back to 2004. He appeared before Medway magistrates on 22 September after failing to comply with a previous order that was made in November 2007, when he was given a suspended sentence and ordered to settle his bill. Gotts had paid £50 since January 2008, but failed to maintain his payments. He will serve his sentence at Elmley prison on the Isle of Sheppey. Medway Council’s Finance Portfolio Holder Cllr Alan Jarrett said: “These prosecutions sends a clear message to everyone that Medway Council will not tolerate council tax evasion. “Tax payers’ money funds vital services that benefit the community. It is completely unacceptable for someone not to contribute to the funding of Medway and we won't hesitate to investigate, track down and prosecute those who cheat the system. “I would like to pay tribute to the council’s investigation and legal teams who works tirelessly to make sure tax evaders are brought to court.” Residents can find out more about how to pay their council tax by calling 01634 332222.