Doncaster tax-dodgers jailed

Doncaster Magistrates Court
Doncaster Magistrates Court

Two tax-dodgers who racked up debts totalling more than £11, 000 between them have been jailed.

Ronald Lee, 59, of Fiddlers Drive, Armthorpe, was jailed for 60 days for failing to pay business rates amounting to £8,654.23.

In a separate case, Kevin Turner-Archer, 55, of Victoria Cottages, Victoria Street, Mexborough, was sent to prison for 46 days in respect of two council tax debts amounting to £2,866.57.

They were snared during a crackdown on tax dodgers by Doncaster Council.

Simon Wiles, director of finance and corporate services for the authority, said after the court hearings: “We have a legal duty to all those who do pay on time to make sure these people don’t get away with it. Whether it’s business rates or council tax Doncaster Council takes a zero tolerance stance on those who break the rules.

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

“We actively encourage people who are eligible to take up or small business rates relief, council tax benefit and discounts. Unfortunately there are still people who refuse to pay their business rates or council tax even though they are financially able.”

Doncaster magistrates had previously imposed a jail term of 60 days on Lee after he was found guilty of culpable neglect to pay tax, but this was suspended so long as he paid £50 each month.

But he failed to attend court on later occasions and was arrested February 4.

The court heard Lee had continued to show culpable neglect of payment and provided no credible assurance that payment would be made if ordered so they activated the 60 day sentence.

Turner-Archer had previously been summonsed to court for failing to pay council tax on time.

Magistrates imposed a 56 day jail term, suspended so long as he made £25 payments a week.

After falling further into arrears the 56 day sentence was re-imposed upon payment of £45 per month.

But he again failed to make payments and attend court on later occasions and was arrested.

Magistrates ruled Turner-Archer had shown culpable neglect of payment and imposed a 46-day prison term. Magistrates reduced his overall term by ten days because some payments had been made.