Council-tax defaulter jailed

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A north Northumberland man who failed consistently to pay his council tax has been sent to prison for 90 days.

Jonathan Justice, of Fenkle Street, Alnwick, appeared on a warrant before South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court for non-payment of council tax to Northumberland County Council yesterday.

Justice previously failed to answer a summons to court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The court heard that Justice owed council tax of £5,421.76 for various periods between 2009 and 2014 and at the hearing he was sent to prison for 90 days.

Afterwards, a council spokesman said: “The council has a duty to its paying residents to take action against those who will not pay. The council has no alternative but to continue to bring council-tax defaulters to court in order to ensure payment is received for essential local services.

“While sending someone to prison is a rare occurrence and will usually only happen in the worst cases, it can and will happen.”

If a person finds themselves in genuine difficulty with the payment of their council tax, they are urged to contact the council’s recovery team on 01670 624886 to discuss payment. Similarly, if a council taxpayer is in receipt of low income then there are reductions available through the council tax reduction scheme and they should contact the benefits team on 01670 624883.

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