Five Vale people given jail terms for non-payment of council tax
8:50am Saturday 26th May 2012 in News
FIVE people from the Vale have been jailed for failing to pay their council tax.
Two of the defendants - Nicholas Parker, of Woodlands Road, Barry, and Nadia McGee, of Jenner Road, Barry - had previously appeared before Cardiff Magistrates' Court and been given suspended prison sentences on repayment terms.
The defendants had failed to honour the terms of their suspended sentences and were summonsed to appear before magistrates on Thursday, April 19, to answer the reason why they had failed to comply with the orders previously imposed.
As they failed to attend the court hearing, the magistrates’ decision was to activate their warrants and impose the sentences with immediate effect, giving custodial terms of four days and eight days respectively.
At a hearing at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on Thursday, May 17, Robert Stephens, of Lavernock Road, Penarth, and Nichola Langley, of Marconi Holiday Village, Lavernock, had been arrested on outstanding warrants for non-payment of council tax and held in custody for the hearing to commence.
The magistrates considered their reason for non-payment and imposed immediate custodial sentences of seven weeks and eight weeks respectively. The defendants were detained in custody to commence the terms of their imprisonment.
Gemma Rees, of Gladstone Road, Barry, had also previously received a suspended prison sentence on repayment terms.
She had failed to honour the terms of her suspended sentence and was summonsed to appear before the magistrates on Thursday, May 17, to answer the reasons why she had failed to comply with her order.
The magistrates considered the evidence and activated the suspended sentence. The defendant was taken into immediate custody to serve eight days that remained on her sentence.
A spokesperson for the Vale Council said: "The council will continue to bring persistent council tax defaulters to court and seek custodial sentences in order to ensure payment for essential local services.
"If a person is in genuine difficulty with the payment of their council tax then they should contact the council tax collection office on 01446 709564 to discuss payment.
"If a council tax payer is on a low income then there are reductions available through the council tax benefit scheme and they should contact the benefits section on 01446 709244."