Benefit cheat sent to jail for 4 months

A GRANTHAM man who falsely claimed more than £60,000 of benefits has been jailed for four months.

Robert Stanhope, 59, of North Parade said he was too ill to hold down a job while at the same time working as a labourer, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Fri).

He legitimately claimed incapacity benefit and disability living allowance for 20 years because of mobility difficulties, but his condition improved sufficiently fort him to be able to return to work in 2002.

The fraud eventually came to light seven years after Stanhope began his fraudulent claims. He received £40,079 incapacity benefit he was not entitled to as well as £21,389 disability living allowance. The benefits he was receiving were almost as much as his wages.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances between August 2002 and April 2009. He was jailed for four months.

Recorder Paul Mann QC told him “You have shown little responsibility for what you have done and still less remorse.

“The offences are far too serious to merit anything other than a custodial sentence.

“It is just this sort of offence where the court needs to send out the message to people like you that if they continue to defraud the system for this period of time then they will go to prison.”

Noel Philo, defending, said Stanhope did not live extravagantly.