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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Ex-pat wins second home tax case
An ex-pat has won a battle to pay only half a council tax bill on a cottage he left empty while he lived in Spain.

Gethin Parry rented out the house in Brassington but while it stood empty Derbyshire Dales District Council said it was his "sole or main residence".

A High Court Judge ruled this was impossible while Mr Parry was a Spanish resident paying Spanish taxes.

The ruling means he is entitled to a 50% discount on his tax bills rather than the 25% as the council contended.

Little sympathy

The council charged him the higher rate between December 1 2003 and June 20 2004.

While backing the claim for a discount, the judge said Mr Parry had clouded the issue with "insulting" correspondence.

Mr Justice Burnton described Mr Parry as "his own worst enemy".

He added: "His correspondence is prolix, to the extent that his good points are masked by the bad or irrelevant.

"In addition, his unfair pejorative and indeed insulting references to the respondent council and its officers do not engender sympathy".

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