Fraudster to pay back until he’s 95

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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An elderly benefits fraudster who held down eight jobs will have to live to the age of 95 if he is to pay back the money he has fiddled from the state.

James Winstanley illegally pocketed £12,600 in Pension Credits which he is paying back at £11 a week,magistrates heard.

During his interview Winstanley was very vague and wanted to know who had grassed him up

He told the authorities he was not working but between 2007 and 2013 held down eight separate jobs including working as a pest controller and cleaner.

Winstanley is currently 74 and it will take him 21 years to clear the debt to the Department of Work and Pensions.

The OAP, from Lindbeck Road, Marton, admitted failing to tell the DWP of a change in his circumstances.

Blackpool Magistrates placed him on a three -month curfew from 7pm to 7am after hearing about his repayment plan with the DWP.

Jim Mowbray, prosecuting, said Winstanley received £ 12,594 in payments he was not entitled to. When it was investigated, Winstanley told anti fraud officers from the department that he had been working quite openly and paying tax.

The prosecutor added:”During his interview Winstanley was very vague and wanted to know who had grassed him up.”

Robert Castle, defending, said: ”He had varied jobs and was paying tax on his wages

He thought the tax people would tell the DWP and everything was above board. He realises now he should have been more careful.”