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Jail time for council tax evader

Published Wednesday, 18 June 2014

An Enfield resident has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for repeatedly failing to pay his council tax.

After a successful prosecution by Enfield Council Bharat Patel previously of Fairfield Road, Edmonton, was found guilty of culpable neglect to pay his council tax at Enfield Magistrates Court on 1st May. He admitted liability and said he was aware of the debt which came to £4,843.98.

The council tax was owed for the period January 2007 to 17th September 2011. After failing to appear at an earlier hearing a warrant was issued for Mr Patel’s arrest.

He continued to try and evade the liability so on the 1st May the police arrested him and he was taken straight to court.

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Cabinet Member for Finance for Enfield Council said “Few people realise that failing to pay your council tax can result in prison. Every year we take thousands of people to court and whilst prison is very rare, the courts recognise that income from council tax is essential to the delivery of key local services. People who evade paying council tax or fraudulently claim discounts raise the costs of council tax for those that do pay.

“Mr Patel’s case shows that the Council will continue to pursue those who evade paying council tax and will use the courts as necessary to get justice for council tax payers.”

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