Disabled man accused of benefit fraud

A MAN deliberately claimed nearly £8,500 in benefits he was not entitled to, a court has heard.Wheelchair-bound Malcolm Williams, from north Suffolk, stands accused of taking the money from the public purse by fraudulently claiming excess council tax and housing benefits after not declaring an occupational pension he was receiving.

Russell Claydon

A MAN deliberately claimed nearly £8,500 in benefits he was not entitled to, a court has heard.

Wheelchair-bound Malcolm Williams, from north Suffolk, stands accused of taking the money from the public purse by fraudulently claiming excess council tax and housing benefits after not declaring an occupational pension he was receiving.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard Williams falsely claimed a total of “just short of £8,500” by giving incorrect information on claim forms to Waveney District Council on three separate occasions from July 2001 to August 2003.

In the opening of Williams' trial Stephen Mather, for the prosecution, told the jury the defendant began claiming housing benefit from Waveney District Council based on his entitlement to income support.

“In essence I said one of the issues was whether or not he was dishonest.

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“In interview he said he was never dishonest and he filled out the forms accurately and completely. The prosecution's case is there were admissions,” he said.

He told the jury the evidence put before them was such it would leave them to return a guilty verdict.

Malcolm Williams, 47, of Hall Green, Elmham St James South, near Halesworth denies that he dishonestly made the false statements to the council.

Williams, who was previously known as Gary Mitchell and Malcolm Mitchell, was being paid a pension from Lewisham Borough Council in London from his role as a clerical assistant there.

The court heard Williams, who uses an electric wheelchair, was also entitled to incapacity benefit.

Mr Mather said the prosecution would accept there was a declaration received by the Department for Work and Pensions that declared the pension when Williams first applied for his disability living allowance, but this was not repeated to Waveney District Council.

Caroline Dale, a housing and benefit officer at Waveney District Council, went through the forms Williams filled out, highlighting how Williams had ticked “no” each time to the questions asking him if he was in receipt of any pensions.

The trial continues.

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