Ipswich magistrates sentence benefit cheats who dishonestly claimed allowances

Benefit cheats in court

Benefit cheats in court - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2008

Two benefit cheats are paying the price today after they admitted dishonestly claiming allowances totalling nearly £40,000.

William Harrison, of Swallow Road, Ipswich, received housing and council tax benefit amounting to £21,726 which he was not entitled to.

The 57-year-old failed to notify Ipswich Borough Council that his wife had started working in 2009 prompting a change in their circumstances.

Harrison admitted the offence which occurred on or about April 6, 2009.

He was overpaid £16,984 in housing tax benefit and £4,741 in council tax benefit.

Magistrates sentenced Harrison to a 12-month community order with a requirement to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work.

He must also pay £60 to the victims’ fund and £150 in costs.

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During an unrelated hearing Bobbi Henderson was given 12-weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, after she falsely claimed a total of £16,286 in housing and council tax benefit, as well as income support.

The 25-year-old, of Newberry Road, Bildeston, failed to tell the authorities that her partner lived with her at her property in March 2011.

Henderson admitted two charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting her entitlement to benefits.

In addition to the suspended sentence Ipswich magistrates also ordered she that she carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Henderson must also pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £230.

After the hearings Councillor Martin Cook, Resources portfolio-holder for Ipswich Borough Council which prosecuted both cases, said: “The tiny minority of people who attempt to cheat the benefit system are in effect cheating taxpayers and we will take action where we find this is the case.”