26 days jail for not paying tax

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A Stanley woman has been jailed for 26 days after failing to pay more than £4,000 she owed in council tax.

Michelle Wheatley, of Coronation Road, appeared at Derby Magistrates Court in September when she was found guilty of culpable neglect in failing to pay her arrears of £4,251 to Erewash Borough Council.

The 54-year-old, who had also been convicted of benefit fraud in 2011, was ordered to pay off her balance at £25 a fortnight.

But the district judge jailed her for 26 days after hearing last Monday (June 24) that, despite having been given considerable assistance at her first hearing, she had failed to pay back the arrears.

Council leader Cllr Chris Corbett said after the case: “Our key message to all residents is that if you are having problems paying your council tax, please get in touch with us as soon as possible before the problem gets worse. Council tax is a priority debt and if you let it spiral out of control you risk serious action being taken against you – and, ultimately, a possible jail term.”

Call the council’s revenues team on 0115 907 1000 about council tax.