Wife saves Doncaster rates debt man from jail

Doncaster Council finance chief Simon Wiles.
Doncaster Council finance chief Simon Wiles.

A Doncaster businessman who took out a loan to pay for a wedding but did not pay his business rates has been given a prison sentence.

Gurmeet Singh, aged 47, of Fairfield Close, Bessacarr, was on his way to serve a 90 day jail term when he appeared before Doncaster magistrates until his wife paid his outstanding debt of £1,927.57 and he was freed.

Singh had been handed a suspended sentence in June 2013 when he had been ordered to make regular payments on owed business rates.

Despite the threat of losing his liberty, Singh did not make his debt a priority and only made partial payments from what the court had ordered.

During the review of his finances in 2013 it was established that he had taken out a loan to pay for a wedding, and he had purchased a second rental property.

Doncaster council’s finance director, Simon Wiles, said: “Before considering any court action we will try to come to an arrangement with customers who are struggling to pay their debts. We provide practical help and advice to anyone finding themselves in financial difficulties.

“Unfortunately there are some people who don’t prioritise such debts even though they have the means. We have a legal duty to all those who do pay on time to make sure non-payers don’t get away with it.