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MAGISTRATES WRONG TO JAIL ALLEGED RATES DEBTOR - HIGH COURT

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The high court has ruled that magistrates in Bedfordshire exceeded their powers by jailing a Luton businessman for ...
The high court has ruled that magistrates in Bedfordshire exceeded their powers by jailing a Luton businessman for 90 days, reports BBC Three Counties.

Conrad Alvarez had been detained for alleged non-payment of non-domestic rates to Mid Bedfordshire DC.

Mr Alvarez allegedly owed more than £6,800 in rates on a salvage business he was operating at Shefford.

He told the magistrates he had long disagreed with the council both over who was responsible and the amount owed, but the council sought his committal to prison. The magistrates agreed and he was jailed for 90 days in September 1994.

In the high court lawyers for Mr Alvarez said the sentence was irrational and that the magistrates had not considered his inability to pay. The magistrates conceded that the prison term was unlawful.
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