An offender who has been failing to pay off an outstanding fine of over £36,000 has been given another chance to clear what is owed or she could go to prison.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, November 15, how Suzanne Crowder, 29, of Poolsbrook Road, Duckmanton, Chesterfield, had originally acquired the money fraudulently via a criminal offence and it has to be paid back.
Crowder has already paid £1,802.09 leaving a balance of £36,664.35 but she has failed to continue to pay instalments as ordered and has been falling into default.
She told the court: “I was told to pay back £300 by the crown court and then my boyfriend left and I offered to pay £50 per month and that was agreed but then I fell into arrears.
“I was paying it but I was late one month and then it went to the enforcement agency.”
The court heard how the matter has been running for over two years since June, 2014, but the money needs to be paid or Crowder could face up to 18 months in custody.
Mobile hairdresser Crowder, who has a young son, said she was not refusing to pay and offered to pay £40 per month.
She added: “I am sorry and I will pay it on time.”
Magistrates said they had some sympathy but the matter had to be viewed in terms of a criminal offence and that compensation should be paid.
They added that they were prepared to accept the offer of £40 payments per month and opted not to impose a custodial sentence.
However, Crowder was warned by the magistrates that if she does not pay and comes back to court again she will most likely receive a custodial sentence.
If Crowder maintains her £40 per month payments it will take her just over 76 years to pay off the outstanding £36,664.35 fine.