Purbeck Man Found Guilty Of Falsely Claiming Benefits
8:51am 20th August 2012
On 25 July 2012, Mr Terry Godson, 60, of 13 Burr Stone Mead, 77 High Street, Swanage, Dorset, was found guilty of falsely claiming Housing Benefit of £6,314.51 and Council Tax Benefit of £1,728.27 from 19 Dec 2005 to 10 October 2011.
During this time, Mr Godson told Purbeck District Council that he was only receiving incapacity benefit, disability living allowance and a private retirement pension. However, as a result of a data matching exercise, it was highlighted that he may also have been receiving a civil service pension.
Mr Godson was interviewed under caution and admitted that he was in receipt of the pension which was paid into a bank account not declared to Purbeck District Council.
He pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him by the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of Purbeck District Council.
The hearing took place at Bournemouth Magistrates Court where the defendant was given an 18 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs. He is also repaying the overpayments through deductions from his on-going benefits.
Councillor Mrs Ali Patrick, Local Economy and Social Issues Spokesperson at Purbeck District Council said: “The matter of benefit fraud is taken extremely seriously by Purbeck District Council and we are pleased with the outcome of this case. There are many people who genuinely rely on benefits, so it is a shame that there are individuals who seek to exploit the welfare benefits system and the tax payers who support it.”
Stuart Dawson, Purbeck District Council’s Revenues and Benefits Partnership Manager said: “The council pays benefits to the needy and not the greedy. It treats benefit fraud very seriously because it’s cash that’s being stolen from tax payers that could be used elsewhere.
“The vast majority of people claiming benefits are quite rightly receiving what they’re entitled to but, in partnership with our neighbouring councils, we will rigorously investigate and prosecute those who choose to cheat the system.
“I would encourage anyone who knows of someone committing benefit fraud to report it to us directly on 01305 211938 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.”