Council tax cheat jailed for 90 days

A man who dodged paying his council tax for six years has been locked up for 90 days after being taken to court by Havering Council.

Jamie Herring is the eighth person to be jailed for 90 days for non payment in the last 14 months.

Herring owes �7,891 from his property in Brentwood Road, Romford.

He now lives in Chingford but still owns the Romford home.

It was the eighth time he has appeared before Havering Magistrates Court.

He was found guilty of culpable neglect last December and the court found that although he had the money, Herring chose not to pay.

He was given a jail sentence which was suspended because he arranged for a payment of �800 to be made.

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But the council has since received no further payment and so he was brought back to court on Friday (18 March).

At the hearing he failed to convince magistrates that he would pay the arrears as part of the suspended sentence he had been given in December 2010.

The magistrates then activated the suspended 90 day jail term.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, cabinet member for value, said: “This man had the money but chose not to pay and we and the courts will not tolerate this. The fact he has been jailed does not mean his debt to local taxpayers is cleared - he still has to pay the money back. People who don’t pay on time put an extra financial burden on the Council, reducing our ability to provide the vital services residents need.

“If people genuinely fall on hard times we have ways of supporting them – but those who try to evade paying council tax face being locked up.”