Men forced to leave Chesterfield court after hat and phone row

Chesterfield magistrates court.

Chesterfield magistrates court.

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Two men, accused of not paying council tax, had to be led from court after they refused to remove a hat and turn off a mobile phone.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on March 4 how Simon Henry, of Welbeck Road, Bolsover, and Trevor Hill, of Sough Road, South Normanton, are among 484 people who have been subject to liability orders by Bolsover District Council for alleged non-payment of council tax.

However, Mr Henry refused a request by the court clerk to remove his woollen hat and argued that to do so would be a breach of his rights and he began quoting from paperwork.

He said: “This is my thought, consciousness and religion and you cannot deny me these rights.”

But Mr Henry was told he either remove the hat or he would have to leave court and on failing to remove his hat security guards were called and he was led away.

Trevor Hill, who gave the court his name as Trevor of the Hill family, said he did not consent with the proceedings and argued the court could not proceed without his consent.

Magistrates retired briefly and Mr Hill was then led out by security as he referred to the rights of the Freeman of the Land.

Mr Hill also attempted to use his mobile phone in court but was told not to but argued he could because he was in a public place.

Chairman of the bench Martin Thacker said: “We’ve tried to be pleasant but they didn’t wish to engage in the court process.”

Council senior court officer Joanne Lyons submitted an application for liability orders for non-payment of council tax with regards to 484 cases including Mr Henry and Mr Hill. She explained notices and reminders had been issued and she applied for liability orders to be granted in respect of outstanding sums of money.

Magistrates were satisfied the council had made every effort to warn and contact each individual concerned. The court granted the orders be applied with costs of £55 to be applicable for each case including for Mr Hill and Mr Henry.