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Grantham court: Council gives refuse collector final warning after he dishonestly claimed benefits

Court news
Court news

A man who works for the district council dishonestly claimed housing benefit from his own employer as part of a £7,000 fraud.

Ian Denton, 53, of Welland Court, Grantham, admitted one count of making a false statement to South Kesteven District Council in order to receive housing benefit he was not entitled to and two counts of making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions in order to receive Jobseekers Allowance.

Denton works part-time for SKDC on the markets and as a refuse collector and has been given a final warning by his employer.

He made the false claim to SKDC between August 18,2014 and January 21, 2015.

He made the false claims to the DWP on or about June 14, 2012 and June 9, 2014.

He also admitted dishonestly failing to notify SKDC of a change of circumstances which would affect his housing benefit.

Prosecuting, Tracey Ross told the court that Denton, a single man, had falsely claimed a total of £7,312.28 which was being repaid to his employer and the DWP through his wages.

Miss Ross said it was discovered that Denton was working on various markets for the council while claiming the benefits.

He had admitted he was working part-time on Grantham market and should have disclosed this.

In a probation report to the court, it was said that Denton was suffering from stress, had gone through a divorce and had lost his job. He had found it difficult to complete online forms.

He was said to be ‘remorseful’.

The court was told that Denton had been struggling financially. He was living with his adult son in rented accommodation and was employed by SKDC part-time in bin collecting and other roles.

Denton had suffered a mini stroke in 2004 and has fully recovered.

He had been convicted of similar offences in 1996.

Defending, Simon Cobb said Denton’s dishonesty was borne out of financial hardship which he was still suffering.

He had gone through a lengthy divorce process and had ended up living with his son and his son’s partner, neither of whom was working.

Mr Cobb added: “He has been emploed by SKDC on local markets and in refuse collecting part-time. His earnings are such that had he taken advice I have no doubt he would have been eligible for some sort of working tax credit.”

Mr Cobb said Denton had “not been thinking straight” when he made the claims and confirmed that SKDC had given Denton a final warning.

He added: “He is remorseful and accepts he has been foolish.”

Magistrates handed Denton a 12-month community order to include 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £75 and a victim surcharge of £60.

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