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14 Mar 2013

Suspended sentence for £37k benefit thieves

A couple from Helston have been found guilty of benefit fraud worth almost £38,000.

David Winwood, 62, and his wife Hilary, 57, dishonestly failed to tell Cornwall Council promptly that Mr Winwood was receiving a pension.

This resulted in them fraudulently claiming a total of £37,723 in housing benefit and council tax benefit.

They appeared before Truro Crown Court on Monday where each was given a 20-week prison sentence, which were then suspended for two years.

Mr and Mrs Winwood will also have to pay £1,000 towards the council’s investigation and legal costs.

The couple had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges at a hearing on February 22, when the case was adjourned for sentencing.

Their overpaid benefits are being recovered by Cornwall Council separately from the court action.

So how does the punishment actually affect them?

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