A TEST Valley villager has avoided jail and kept his driving licence after court action by the Department of Work and Pensions.

The DWP applied for Hayden Stephen Evans to be committed to prison and banned from the road for failing to pay child support and costs of £7,538.34.

Evans, 25, of Bertune Close, Barton Stacey, appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Tuesday July 26 to admit the non-payment.

The Bench ordered Evans must pay the £7,579.34 with a 42-day suspended jail sentence.

The court heard there had been "culpable neglect" and every other method of enforcement had been explored.

But magistrates decided against sending Evans to prison immediately or taking away his driving licence.

He must make payments of £315 a month with the first payment due on September 1.

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