Landscape gardener jailed for non-payment of council tax
A TAX avoider has been jailed for 48 days.
A judge told Simon Long he had “no choice” but to put him behind bars after he failed to pay £2,586 in council tax.
His debt stretched back to 2002 and despite numerous attempts by Stroud District council he refused to give them the money.
The 37-year-old of West End in Stroud was first brought court in January 2011 and warned that if he did not make regular payments he would face jail.
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The self-employed landscape gardener was hauled back before Cheltenham Magistrates today after he failed to do so.
District judge Martin Brown said: “He’s paid nothing, not even £15 since May.
“I don’t disbelieve he’s offered to pay £200 now but I have no basis to trust him to pay £100 a month.
“I don’t accept anything else will be paid unless he’s brought back to court, by which time he will owe more.”
“So that’s it.”
Sentencing Long he said: “It’s been a long time since I have enforced a suspended sentence warrant because in these cases what the local authority requires is payment.
“We are not going to get it in this case.
“It stretches back to 2002 and 10 years later you still owe more than £2,000.
“The reality of the situation is quite clear.
“I impose a period of 48 days.”
Long showed no reaction as he was taken down to the cells by a prison officer.