I don’t read my mail - So court writes off £2,000 fines

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A MAN who racked up more than £2,700 in fines has been let off paying £2,000 of them by magistrates.

Douglas McCart, formerly of Carr Road, Todmorden, failed to pay fines that built up from driving offences.

They included using a mobile phone, failing to provide information and not having a valid MOT.

Calderdale magistrates heard that six cases were dealt with in his absence. McCart never responded to any summons or reminders.

He said he had been suffering from stress for over three years and had stopped reading letters after letting the debts build up.

“I don’t try and avoid fines,” he told the magistrates. “But if a letter had been sent to me in the the past three years, I haven’t read it.” McCart, who has recently moved to Burnley, said he had lost his job but was previously paid £30,000 a year as a contract landscaper.

He said a neighbour had told him police and fines officers had been to his house but he did not know why.

Magistrates said they would knock £2,055 off his total

Melvyn Smith, chairman of the bench, said: “It’s hard to believe but we’re going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

“Normally, someone owing such an amount and not having paid a penny, would be facing 14 days in Armley, starting now.

“If you don’t pay the remaining £727.59, that’s exactly what you will face.”