Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EREWASH BC UNLAWFUL IN SEEKING TO JAIL ELDERLY POLL TAX DEBTORS

  • Comment
It was unlawful and unreasonable of Erewash BC to persist in seeking jail terms for an elderly couple in poor healt...
It was unlawful and unreasonable of Erewash BC to persist in seeking jail terms for an elderly couple in poor health over alleged Poll Tax arrears, London's High Court ruled.

And Mr Justice Auld quashed Ilkeston Magistrates' decision on September 8 this year to jail 74-year-old George Smedburg and his 80- year-old wife, Doris, for a total of 28 days each. Mr Smedburg suffers from epilepsy, severely impaired mobility and arthritic and other pain. And Mrs Smedburg was also in a poor state of health, suffering from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and incontinence and requiring constant attendance.

The judge ruled that the couple had brought many of their troubles upon themselves through their lack of cooperation with the council. But there were doubts about how much in Poll Tax arrears, if any, the couple owed and the council acted unlawfully and unreasonably by persisting in seeking their committal to prison.

The couple were jailed on September 8 in their absence and the judge remarked that imposition of immediate jail terms was not the only option available. The judge formally declared that the Borough Council's conduct in persisting with its committal application on September 8 was unlawful and unreasonable.

The judge said this was not a case where he would award compensation to the Smedburgs. But he ordered the Borough Council and the magistrates to each pay half of the legal costs of the action.
  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.