Benefit fraud was uncovered when it was found a claimant had not revealed he had more than £19,000 in capital.
William Mair, 56, of School Lane, Edenham, pleaded guilty to four counts of making false declarations for benefits. On February 23, 2002, he dishonestly made a declaration for council tax benefit while not disclosing his capital. He made similar declarations for income support on May 14, 2008, for council tax benefit on May 9, 2008, and on a review form for council tax benefit on October 10, 2005.
Prosecuting, Paul Wood said Mair had £19,400 in capital, but at the time of claiming income support he claimed had less than £3,000. He had been overpaid about £4,000 in income support and £7,000 in council tax benefit leading to a total of £11,442 claimed dishonestly.
Defending, Bill Fraser said Mair “very much regretted what he did”. He said Mair has been confused about how it all started since he was involved in a road traffic accident and had gone on disability allowance. But since the facts were put before him he realised he was in the wrong.
The money Mair has dishonestly claimed is being paid back through deductions in his benefits which he will still be paying off well beyond 2025.
In a probation report, it was said Mair had felt he was entitled to the benefits despite having so much in the bank. He was living in a three bedroom private property with his partner and was working as a part-time driver. He had suffered a head injury in the road accident in 1998.
Chair of magistrates Jane Tidswell told Mair: “You seemed to think you had some right to it but you had no right to it at all.”
Mair was given a 12 month community order in which he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs and a victim surcharge of £60.