Two Bedford residents were given 90-day suspended prison sentences at Bedford Magistrates’ Court for failing to pay Council Tax.
The court heard evidence from Bedford Borough Council on Wednesday, April 23, that John Rosan Lal of Hartwell Drive, Kempston, who is working, owed £15,431.68 in unpaid Council Tax after paying less than £700 towards the bill.
The magistrates sentenced him to 90 days in prison but suspended the sentence subject to payments being taken from his salary to pay the arrears.
Similar evidence showed Mandy Kaczorowski of Dents Road, Bedford, who is also in work, owed £8,938.00 in overdue Council Tax having paid less than £350 towards the bill.
She was also sentenced to 90 days in prison with the sentence suspended to allow payments to be taken from her salary until the bill is paid.
Both defendants were ordered to pay an extra £305 in costs and were warned by the magistrates that if the council did not receive regular payments they could be sent to prison.
Cllr Shan Hunt, executive nember for revenues and benefits, said: “A prison sentence, even when it is suspended, is a serious punishment and the council does not take this action lightly.
“However, when residents with the means to pay Council Tax simply refuse to pay, they can expect very serious consequences and find they face a prison sentence.”
Help may be available to anyone on a low-income that is genuinely struggling to pay their Council Tax and they should contact the council’s customer services for more information on 01234 718097.