September 16 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
A woman has flown back from a two-week holiday in Menorca to spend 58 days in prison for owing more than £5,000 in council tax.
Janet Lagden, of Lodge Lane, Collier Row, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.
The 57-year-old, who lives in a council property with her two daughters, aged 30 and 27, who both work full-time, owed arrears in council tax dating back to 2000 and had appeared in court before over the issue.
She last appeared in August 2010 for failing to pay £7,581 between 2000 and 2010 but avoided jail by making an immediate payment and setting up a payment plan.
But after repaying less than a third of the balance, Lagden stopped making payments and was therefore hauled back into court, still owing £5,531.
Lagden attended court after a warrant was issued for her arrest following an earlier non-appearance. The court heard she had just enjoyed a two-week break in Menorca.
After previously handing down a suspended sentence of 90 days, this time magistrates jailed her, reducing her 90-day sentence to 58 days, taking into account the amount of money she had so far paid back.
Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of the council, said: “We will always pursue those who fail to pay their Council tax, and as this case shows, continued non-payment will catch up with you in the end.
“People who do not pay their council tax are being unfair on every other hard-working and law-abiding citizen in the borough, and we simply will not tolerate it.”
Anyone having problems paying their Council tax should contact the council.