Benefits cheat claimed £16K despite pensions

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A greedy benefits cheat claimed more than £16,000 despite receiving three private pensions.

Kelvin Bennett, who is on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, made a claim which was false from the start a court was told.

Bennett, a 66-year-old carer, of Argosy Avenue, Grange Park, pleaded guilty to dishonestly making a false statement to obtain Pension Credit.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks prison, suspended for two years by Blackpool magistrates.

Pam Smith,prosecuting, said Bennett made a claim for Pension Credit September 1, 2009, but did not reveal he was already receiving three pensions.

Over the following five years he continued to claim and illegally pocketed a total of £16,454.

Benefit fraud investigators discovered evidence to show Bennett was receiving pension money from Transport of London, Reassure and Prudential which he had not declared to the authorities.

When interviewed Bennett admitted he had been dishonest. He had been repaying what he owed at £29.60p a week.

Suzanne Mugford, defending, said about the time Bennett made the false statement his civil partner had been sent to prison and he was still in jail.

He was in significant difficulties financially and facing being made homeless.

Probation officer, Lesley Whittaker, said the three pensions Bennett failed to declare netted him approximately £200 a month, but he feared if he declared that he would not receive any benefits. He now acted as a carer for an elderly person.