Ex-Soldier, 75, Jailed Over Tax

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by kennys-go-nad, Nov 13, 2006.

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  1. How much time did the a RBL funds thief get :roll:

    This is discusting.

    Ex-Soldier, 75, Jailed Over Tax

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    A 75-year-old retired soldier has been sent to prison after a court heard how he refused to pay a £1,300 council tax bill on "principle".

    Great-grandfather Richard Fitzmaurice, of Heacham, Norfolk, was jailed for 32 days by magistrates in King's Lynn, Norfolk, after King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council failed to persuade him to pay.

    He said he was not paying because he thought the tax was unfair. Mr Fitzmaurice also said he was angry at learning that taxpayers' money had been used to pay a legal bill run up by Conservative council leader John Dobson.

    Before the hearing he said: "I am going to stand my ground and I'm ready to face the consequences."

    His son-in-law, Arthur Osborne, 54, said it was "astounding" that a retired solider should be jailed for not paying a tax which many thought unfair, as the UK remembered its war dead.

    But Mr Dobson said the authority had been justified in pursuing the pensioner. He said Mr Fitzmaurice should target his complaint at the Government not a local authority.

    And Mr Dobson refuted any suggestion that he had wrongly used public funds.

    "I find it astounding," said Mr Osborne, a water company engineer, of Hunstanton, Norfolk.

    "And it seems very sad that an old soldier should be jailed the day after poppy day. He was a warrant officer - in the Army for 20 years. He served in Cyprus, Hong Kong, Germany.

    "The jails are overcrowded. Not many weeks ago they were talking about using police stations for prisoners. Now they jail an old man for not paying £1,000. It's very naughty. T

    he world's mad. But he knew what might happen. I admire the way he's taken a stand. A lot of people feel this tax is unfair and that pensioners get a raw deal. Tony Blair and this Government are more worried about Iraq than they are about looking after pensioners."
  2. I am sorry but this is not a story.

    We live in democracy. We have a social contract between the people and government we give them power and they give us law, taxes and services. If you don't like how your taxes are being spent or how laws are introduced. Use your vote.

    At the end of the day, if you want to make a political statement by witholding Council Tax or Income Tax be damn sure you are ready to go to prison.

    I am sorry for the old guy, I don't know the background visa vis the troy councillor's legal bill BUT if you read Rotten Borough in the PE you will see that we all should give a shit about what our local elected officals get up to. But how many give sh1t, for that matter can name their local Councillor or Mayor?
  3. Breaking the law should be punished but the priorities for law and order are perverse.

    How many times have we read about someone being killed, wounded, sexually assaulted or robbed by someone released early? How many times have we read about someone getting a non-custodial sentence for a violent offence?

    Refusing to pay the council tax pales by comparison.

    Incidentally, the ex-soldier is brave but misguided. One person not paying will change nothing. Five thousand people not paying is a different matter entirely.
  4. Add above to this http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=51303.html and you have a story!!

    Sad society, sad judicial system with no consistency in sentencing!!! :x
  5. exactly. an old guy gets sent to jail because suprisingly enough he doesnt want to pay thousands of pounds for someone to collect his rubbish every week (- and thats only if everything is in the right bin in the right place or you might get a fine!) and the price goes up and up each year. how are pensioners supposed to pay this?

    yet people who cause violence often get off with nothing. i heard earlier today about people who drive with no insurance get a fine of £50 and often have no licence and are risking killing people. but apparently its far worse not to pay your council tax.
  6. On its own Jailor, I agree. When this incident is placed in comparison to other legal issues, it very much does become newsworthy.

    Two different legal cases involving small sums owed (whether willfully or fraudulently).

    Case One:

    Outline of Crime.


    Case 2.

    Outline of Crime.


    2 legal cases with two entirely different outcomes. On analysis of the verdicts issued, the theft of money from pensioners (fiscally proportionally speaking, these sums are huge to the pensioners involved) is only worthy of a letter of apology and repayment within 6 months!!!!!

    The Ex Servicemen who willfully withheld his council tax (The council in question will not be bankrupt or be unable to meet any immediate bills due to non payment) receives an immediate custodial sentence!!! FFS, where is the proportionate sentencing here!!!!!!!

    In light of these two cases I believe it is a newsworthy story as it clearly demonstrates that current law is creating disproportionate sentencing in relation to offences, and the law favours the Government and bureacractic apparatus, as opposed to the people, who incidentally are the very reason for these laws being passed.

    This is another example of the "two tiered" criminal justice system!!!!!!!
  7. He knew what he was doing when he decided to break the law.
    The law on this subject is being enforced to the maximum.
    If the crime had been another subject other then Open defiance of Government finace poliies, he would have been some consideration for his 'Stance'.
    However he's a honkey, married with kids, been law abiding Taxpayer and worst of all he's an ex Sqaddei.
    Send him down.
  8. He should have stolen a poppy collection instead, he'd be out in two days
  9. Or perhaps spouted viscious, fascist crap - and then he would have been found not guilty
  10. I am not sure of the law, but does anyone know if the monies owed to the council are paid , would the gentleman with principles be released?
    If so I would be more than happy to contribute to a fund, the old boy has taken a stand and in my opinion rightly so. My council tax bill certainly does not represent value for money.
    The local rag produces a list of who's claimed what in expenses, I judge every single claim in the same way. That is, how many squaddies would that fund per annum.

    With EXPENSE accounts running some years at £20,000, the blood boils at the injustice of defence cuts.

    I propose performance related pay for all in government/councils
  11. I applaud this gentleman for his courage and for standing up for what, rightly or wrongly, he considers an injustice. I doubt I would have the same amount of guts. Luckily, I live in the best borough in GB - Wandsworth - with the lowest Council Tax. My 87 year old neighbour, another old soldier, with a low income can afford to pay his CT and still has money left for food and rent. When suggested that he might apply for financial assistance, he said: 'Me and my mates in the regiment fought our wars and I will pay my own bills'. Subject closed. I dread to think what would happen if he moved to Lambeth or Richmond on Thames where I would struggle to pay the iniquitous levels of CT.
    It will get worse for all of us as the Prescott plan, supported by Brown, to 'review' (review means increase) the valuations of our properties gets up and running
  12. While I'm sure you have the best of motives, you may find that your actions don't go down too well with the gentleman concerned. He has declined to pay the bill on principle, rather than through an inability to pay.

  13. Not forgetting that once he has sat out his sentence then the bill is null and void. He will owe the council nothing.

    If he is willing to go to jail for his principles then I am sure he wouldn't want us to fcuk it all up for him.

    As I have said before we need a couple of thousand people to do the same thing and then maybe just maybe those cnuts who set these bills might have to take some notice.
  14. Sven wrote:

    Or perhaps spouted viscious, fascist crap - and then he would have been found not guilty.

    Well you'd know all about spouting vicious fascist crap Sven but try not to confuse that with telling the truth. You remember the truth don't you?

    Last year more than 50 rapists were given a police caution for their crime.

    Druggie scum receive compensation.

    Since John Reid announced his crackdown of foreign prisoners another 2050 have been released into the community.

    Meanwhile a non violent old man is sent to jail for refusing to pay an unfair tax.

    Makes you proud doesn't it Sven?
  15. Debtors prisons were abolished some years ago yet the goverment is still jailing folk for not paying their council tax, which is essentialy a debt! This bloody annoys me.
    Ok the elderly gent in question may not be concerned with having a criminal record at his age but what about the younger ones who are jailed for the same reason who are bothered?
    The laws of this country never fail to astound me. Had the elderly gent been a victim of a vicious mugger, its as good as guaranteed the mugger would have got away with little more than a community service order!
    The ones who refuse to pay on principle such as this gent should be applauded. Council tax is rising, yet we are now facing having to pay extra charges to have our refuse removed....Hello?? what do we partly pay our council tax for?? AND what do the rest of us do? We pay up whilst grumbling to each other!
    I wish him well.