Man jailed over council tax bill
A MAN has been jailed for not paying his council tax.
Christopher McLaughlin was sent to prison for 36 days when he appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court this week.
He was prosecuted by Stroud District Council, which said he had been given several opportunities to clear the debt.
McLaughlin, of Hawthorn Rise, Stroud, was given a suspended sentence by magistrates in May last year for neglecting to pay four years of council tax, amounting to just over £3,000.
At that hearing, he was ordered to pay £150 per month, but was warned that any default in payment would result in his sentence being activated.
He was ordered to appear before court three more times due to failure to pay, so an arrest warrant was issued and he was brought before the court on Monday, when magistrates activated the sentence.
“We do all we can to help people who are in difficult financial circumstances, but there’s a big difference between those who can’t pay and those who won’t pay,” said Mark Richings, the council’s senior recovery officer.