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Council tax evader jailed for 30 days

Man refused to pay or acknowledge the court

A GRIMSBY man has been jailed for 30 days after repeatedly refusing to pay his council tax.

Gavin Kaylhem, 34, of Lincoln Boulevard, was sentenced at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on November 18 after he accrued a council tax debt of £1,268.54 between 2001 and 2008.

In refusing to pay his council tax, Kaylhem said he was a “Freeman on the land”, claiming he had no contractual obligation to pay under Common Law.

North East Lincolnshire Council sent the defendant 18 recovery letters organised 12 bailiff visits. But Kaylhem returned several of the letters, writing “no contract” on them, and he refused to recognise the legal authority of the court. He failed to attend court on two occasions this year, leading to his arrest – and when he was brought before the court, he refused to give his name, address or date of birth.

Magistrates gave the defendant several chances to answer questions put to him, but he continually refused to co-operate.

A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Council said: “The council is keen to advise residents and help them with regards to their council tax bills, and a prosecution is always a last resort. When cases do go to court, defendants are usually given an order to pay the courts for their tax liability. However, Kaylhem made clear his unwillingness to co-operate with the council and the courts, so the bench felt that a prison term was appropriate in this case.

“We do hope this sends out a clear message to others who may be minded to avoid payment. Council tax is enforceable in the courts, and debts will be chased up.”

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