Chinnor tax dodger finally made to pay up after five-year battle

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A man has received a 42-day suspended prison sentence after failing to pay £4,000 of council tax over a five-year period.

Stephen Bowker, 51, of Station Road, Chinnor, has been ordered to make fortnightly payments of £100 after avoiding tax between June 2001 and the end of March 2006.

The case was made against Mr Bowker by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ shared legal team and magistrates found that the Chinnor man deliberately avoided paying his tax.

The two councils had pursued the non-payment over a long period of time, including persistent reminders and the offer of appropriate payment plans, however they had been left with little choice but to take committal action.

South Oxfordshire District Council finance guru David Dodds said: “Anyone who thinks they can bury their head in the sand and pretend that the council tax bill will go away is sorely mistaken.

“If you are struggling to pay there is help available to make things easier, however we take non-payment very seriously.”

Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Matthew Barber said: “It is therefore very important that everybody contributes their fair share to help ensure the various authorities are able to provide the best services they can.”