Tax refuser goes to jail

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Chris Coverdale

Peace campaigner Chris Coverdale from Rye was sent to prison last week for 42 days for refusing to pay council tax.

He had claimed in his defence that part of the tax receipts would be used to fund the waging of war overseas. In his view, this was an illegal activity prohibited under international law, and the tax-payer contributing would also be breaking the law.

This argument had previously been rejected in the Court of Appeal and District Judge Teresa Szagun told Hastings Crown Court that she had no other option but to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

Rother District Council had taken Coverdale to court on 12 previous occasions, dating from October 2013 when a liability order was first imposed requiring the payment of back council tax.

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