Motherwell fine dodger finally forced to stump up

A Motherwell man who had repeatedly avoided paying fines for a catalogue of offences was forced to settle the amounts after getting a nasty shock when he found that his bank account had been frozen.

The man, who can’t be named for data protection reasons, had 13 outstanding fines amounting to £1568 for offences including threatening behaviour, possession of drugs and assault stretching back to 2013, but had done his best to dodge paying.

The fines were imposed at Coatbridge JP Court, Airdrie Sheriff Court, Hamilton JP Court and Hamilton Sheriff Court.

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The man ignored repeated warning letters but when fines officers issued an order freezing his bank account, he was forced to stump up.

Freezing bank accounts or arresting wages are among the measures available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for recovering unpaid fines.

Other enforcement measures include clamping vehicles, taking money directly from benefits and even arresting non-payers travelling through ports and airports.

SCTS chief operations officer David Fraser said: “The fines 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.

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“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.”

Latest figures released by SCTS reveal that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong, with 89 per cent of Sheriff Court and JP courts fines imposed from 2015/16-2017/18 either already been paid or on track to be so, a rise of one per cent since October,