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Jail for woman who failed to pay Lichfield District Council tax bill

A woman who refused to pay her council tax has been sentenced to 40 days imprisonment

Dee Chamberlain, aged 58, currently living on Lichfield Road in Sutton Coldfield, was prosecuted by Lichfield District Council after she repeatedly failed to pay council tax arrears of £2,248, which mounted up between 2005 and 2009.

Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council and Cabinet Member for Finance Revenues and Benefits, said: “Despite trying to work with Mrs Chamberlain on a re-payment scheme, she failed to pay off any of her debt, which is why we instigated court proceedings.”

Dee Chamberlain admitted to non payment of council tax at a hearing at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on October 16.

In making its verdict, the magistrates decided that Mrs Chamberlain had every opportunity to pay her council tax, but had failed to do so, and was unlikely to pay in the future. The court found Dee Chamberlain guilty of wilful refusal to pay and sentenced her to 40 days imprisonment.

Councillor Wilcox commented: “A prison term for failing to pay council tax may appear quite drastic. However, it was clear that Mrs Chamberlain had no intention of paying for the local services she received from Lichfield District Council over a number of years.

“We all have to pay for our local services, and refusing to pay is unfair on the vast majority of people who do. We hope this case clearly shows that failing to pay for your council tax is not an option, and that it is taken very seriously by the courts.”

After spending one night in prison, Mrs Chamberlain paid her debt to Lichfield District Council and was released.

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