Pay up or go to jail
COUNCIL tax dodgers felt the force of the law last week, as the council cracked down on non-payers.
At Ashford magistrates court on May 4, Vincent Stickels of Haywain Close, Kingsnorth; Helen Willing of Stirling Road, Newtown and Paul Chapman of Crownfield Road, Ashford, were convicted of non-payment of council tax.
Willing, 34, whose debt stands at £1042.51, was ordered to pay it off in monthly instalments of £200 or be sent to prison.
Both Stickels, 36, and Chapman, 45, will appear in court again on June 1. Stickels will have to pay his £5,953.21 in full, while Chapman will have to come up with a reasonable offer to pay his £2,415.82 bill.
The council’s revenues and benefits manager Peter Purcell said: “Many people don’t realise that if they don’t pay council tax the ultimate sanction is that they can be sent to prison.
“Anyone who is genuinely having trouble making payments should call the council on 01233 331111. They may be entitled to benefits to help with the cost.”