Benefits cheat who dishonestly claimed £11K narrowly avoids jail

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man who dishonestly overclaimed more than £11,000 of benefits while receiving two pensions has narrowly avoided an immediate jail term.

Sentencing 59-year-old William Jennison, Recorder Mark Brown said: “ Putting it bluntly the general public is sick and tired of those who rip off the public system.

“It’s clear to me over a period of five years you dishonestly claimed benefits and did so to the detriment of the general public.

“These are benefits that would otherwise be used for the health service, schools and other public services.”

Jennison, of Northway, Fleetwood, admitted two counts of dishonestly making a false statement to obtain benefits and was given 10 months suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work and £840 costs.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Rachel Woods described how between July 1, 2008 to February 6, 2011, he was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance on behalf of himself and his partner and it was paid on the basis he was not working and had no other income.

She said: “The claim was originally made by telephone.

“He made a similar claim for income support between February 2011 and 2014.

“But he was receiving two annuities paid by Prudential. He received £89.14 and £96.12 each month, affecting his entitlement.

“It resulted in an overall overpayment of £11,750.

“He was interviewed in November 2014 and confirmed he had signed the forms.

“He claimed he had told a gentlemen who conducted a review that he was receiving these annuities and thereafter he thought he was simply confirming nothing had changed.”

Recorder Mark Brown said: “You have no previous convictions.

“Despite that I’m entirely satisfied that when you claimed Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support you were a thoroughly dishonest individual, you knew full well you were in receipt of two pensions yet despite that you represented you had no other source of income.”

However, he accepted he was his wife’s main carer, and agreed to suspend the jail term.