Electrician threatened with two weeks in prison if he doesn’t pay £4.5k child maintenance

Posted On 25 Nov 2022 at 4:22 pm

Brighton Magistrates’ Court

A Brighton electrician who splashed cash on pubs and takeaways while not paying child maintenance has been told to cough up or go to prison.

James Swan, 36, ignored court orders requiring him to pay £4,575.56 to his ex partner, a debt which had built up from March 2017 to September 2020.

The Child Maintenance Service got permission from the court to take the money from his bank account, but this only allowed them to take £17 out.

However, they then got access to another of his accounts into which he had made deposits of £19,000 over a six month period.

There were no rent or utility bills going out, but plenty of payments to pubs and takeaways, £2,000 transferred to someone else, and £7,000 withdrawn in cash.

Prosecuting, Mr Fuller said: “He has been able to pay, but has chosen not to do so.”

Swan, of Crabtree Avenue, told the court he knew he had been ordered to pay the money but didn’t because he had been with his ex-partner for some of the time, and still bought clothes and other items.

He said: “The majority of that time period, I was still with my ex partner and I was paying.”

He told the court he is living with his mum, and paying her £50 rent, plus £60 a week for two children he has with another woman, £60 a month for his phone plus food and other general living expenses.

He said that as he earns about £600 a week, he could pay £100 a month to repay the debt.

Chair of the bench Alan Hardy said: “We are going to give you a prison sentence of 14 days, suspended for two years on the condition that you pay this money back at the rate of £30 a week.

“If you fail to pay the money then you will be going to prison.”

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