Janet Lagden, of Lodge Lane, Collier Row, was jailed for 90 days when she appeared at Barking Magistrates Court on Thursday (28 August), for owing over £5,000 in Council tax.

The 57-year-old, who lives in a Council property with her two daughters, aged 30 and 27, who both work full-time, owed arrears in Council tax dating back to the year 2000 and had appeared in court before over the issue.

She last appeared in court in August 2010, for failing to pay £7581.15 of Council tax for periods between 2000/01 and 2009/10. She avoided jail by making an immediate payment of £1,000 and setting up a payment plan of £350 a month.

But after repaying less than a third of the balance, Lagden stopped makings payments and was therefore hauled back into court, still owing £5,531.

Lagden attended court after a warrant was issued for her arrest following an earlier non-appearance. The court heard she had just enjoyed a two-week break in Menorca.

After previously handing down a suspended sentence of 90 days, this time magistrates jailed her, reducing her 90-day sentence to 58 days, taking into account the amount of money she had so far paid back.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Value, said:

“We will always pursue those who fail to pay their Council tax, and as this case shows, continued non-payment will catch up with you in the end.

“People who do not pay their Council tax are being unfair on every other hard-working and law-abiding citizen in the borough, and we simply will not tolerate it.”

Anyone having problems paying their Council tax should contact the Council.

Photo by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos