Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 12:52 UK

Katona given bankruptcy reprieve

Kerry Katona
Kerry Katona was not present for the hearing

Television personality and former Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona has been given two more weeks to pay off the remainder of a 417,000 tax bill.

Miss Katona, 27, from Wilmslow, appeared in court in June and was given until Thursday to pay 157,000.

Lawyers representing Miss Katona and HM Revenue & Customs told a judge at the Bankruptcy Court that the parties had agreed to another "short adjournment".

Miss Katona was not present for the hearing at London's High Court.

Agreeing to adjourn the case for two weeks, the registrar said: "I am going to mark it for settlement of the balance. I am going to mark it final."

He stressed that bankruptcy petitions "are not to be held over someone's head indefinitely".

Privacy plea

Mr Registrar Nicholls ordered that, when the matter returned to court on 21 August, the Revenue would have to elect whether it wished to proceed with the petition, dismiss it, "or to have the bankruptcy order made".

Luke Harris, representing Miss Katona, had asked for the case to be heard in private.

But Mr Registrar Nicholls refused, commenting that the "general rule is that these matters should be heard in public".

In June Mr Harris said Miss Katona was expecting payments of 472,000 before the end of August - 291,000 for work already done.

He asked for "one final indulgence by the court" and the case was adjourned.

No financial details were given in Thursday's hearing

The bankruptcy petition was issued against Miss Katona in January.

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