WHITTLESEY: Former market trader escapes prison sentence for non-payment of council tax
PUBLISHED: 10:39 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:50 02 June 2010
A FORMER market trader who owes more than £5,500 for non-payment of council tax has escaped a prison sentence by the skin of his teeth. However, as a final warning, Whittlesey man David Wright was ordered to pay £2,000 he offered to the court as well as £
A FORMER market trader who owes more than £5,500 for non-payment of council tax has escaped a prison sentence by the skin of his teeth.
However, as a final warning, Whittlesey man David Wright was ordered to pay £2,000 he offered to the court as well as £40 per week to Fenland District Council - or face 90 days in jail.
Fenland magistrates considered Wright, of Chestnut Crescent, was culpable for neglecting to pay off his debt and warned: "This is your last chance."
Wright told magistrates: "I want to get it paid so if you give me the opportunity I will."
Magistrates were told how Wright racked up a total debt of £5,628.88 on three council tax bills, one of which was £3,624.01.
Nigel Adams, prosecuting for the council, said: "Liability goes back to the start of current records which date back to 1996.
"Thirteen years ago he paid £756.59 to the debts and £91.80 was paid by attachment to benefits.
He added: "Some payments were paid up in 2000 but they were not continuous and the debt continued to accumulate."
Alison Muir, mitigating, said Wright "is the first to acknowledge he has been burying his head in the sand for too long and the time has come to get this resolved".
She added: "He is working as a delivery driver and there would be sufficient disposable income to make realistic payments to this charge as liable."
Summing up the hearing, bench chairman Sue Morris said: "We do find there is culpable neglect in not paying what you owe.
"This is your last chance. It means you will go to prison if you do not pay.
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