Romford barrister who failed to pay council tax for five years ‘spared jail’ after wife settles £4,000 bill - Havering Council

Havering Council said the man had been spared a possible jail sentence

Havering Council said the man had been spared a possible jail sentence - Credit: Archant

A barrister who racked up a £4,000 council tax bill over five years was saved from a possible jail sentence after his wife paid the full amount, according to Havering Council.

In its statement, the council said Yosefaly Serugo-Lugo, of Ayr Way, Romford, was originally summoned to court last year over a bill stretching back to April 2008.

The 70-year-old barrister, who works in private practice, had requested an adjournment from Romford Magistrates’ Court due to his legal work, which was granted, the council added.

But when the December 2012 hearing date came around, Serugo-Lugo failed to attend and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

A council spokesman said he was arrested early in the morning of Wednesday last week but released later that afternoon after his wife paid the amount owed in full over the phone – saving him from a possible three months in prison.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, cabinet member for value, said: “Despite spending his working days in the courtroom observing the law, this man appears to have thought he was above it.

“This case shows how seriously we take non-payment of council tax.

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“We will not fail to pursue anyone who doesn’t pay it, and we will do our best to ensure the public purse is reimbursed in full.”

Anyone having difficulty paying their council tax should call Havering Council on 01708 433 997.