Aberdeen businessman forced to pay £827 court fine after earnings frozen

Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A city businessman had his earnings frozen – after he failed to pay a court fine.

He was fined £827 at Aberdeen Sheriff and JP Court for driving without proper insurance, but didn’t pay until an earnings arrestment order was issued.

New information issued by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service show he was among a number of fine dodgers in the region forced to pay up after having their earnings or bank accounts frozen.

A driver fined £385 for speeding offences settled in full soon after his account was blocked while a man fined for not having vehicle insurance paid out £350.

Earnings and bank arrestment orders are among a number of measures available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for recovering unpaid fines.

A report released by SCTS reveals that across Scotland 86% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during a three-year period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid – a rise of 2% compared with October 11, 2017.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “The finest enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines – ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise.

“Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including arrestment of wages, bank accounts, your car being clamped or inconvenience and embarrassment by being arrested when travelling abroad.”

The most recent figures from April 1 and September 30, last year, show that £996,000 in fines has been imposed within the sheriffdom of Grampian and Highlands and Islands, of that £597,000 (64%) have been paid.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court £408,000 in fines were imposed, £201,000 (54%) of which was paid. While at Banff Sheriff Court £27,000 in fines were handed out, with £17,000 paid (66%), at Elgin Sheriff Court £79,000 was handed out with £49,000 paid (63%). And for Peterhead Sheriff Court the fines dished out totalled £87,000 with £47,000 paid (58%).