Man jailed for council tax debt

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A MAN who evaded paying his council tax has been jailed as the local authority continues its crackdown on persistent non-payers.

Christopher Hawcock, aged 45, of Town End, Bentley, was sent to prison for eight weeks when he appeared before Doncaster magistrates.

He had previously been summonsed by Doncaster Council to appear before the court when the magistrates found him guilty of neglecting to pay his council tax.

They imposed a suspended sentence of eight weeks and ordered him to make weekly payments based on his circumstances.

But payments were not made as ordered so the matters were reinstated at court.

Hawcock was contacted and advised to surrender to the court in order to answer to the outstanding warrant.

He did so and after hearing his reasons for non-payment the magistrates decided the committal sentence of eight weeks should be imposed.

Simon Wiles, the council’s director of finance and corporate services, said: “We actively encourage people, who are eligible, to take up council tax benefit and discounts.

“Before considering court action we will try to come to an arrangement with customers who are struggling to pay their council tax.

“We also work with agencies and organisations, providing practical help and advice to anyone finding themselves in debt.

“Unfortunately there are still people living in the borough who refuse to pay their council tax even though they are financially able.

“We have a duty to all those who do pay on time to make sure these offenders don’t get away with it.”

n For advice and information about meeting council tax bills, telephone Doncaster Council on 01302 734454.