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23 May 2013

Conditional discharge for another benefit thief

A Batchley woman has been convicted of benefit fraud after failing to declare she had a private pension.

Hazel Parker-Smythe was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £310 towards prosecution costs at Redditch Magistrates' Court.

The 49-year-old pleaded not guilty to failing to declare one of her two private pensions while she was claiming housing and council tax benefits.

But after hearing evidence at a previous hearing on April 30 she was found guilty of making false representations in order to claim benefits amounting to £6,287.

In delivering their verdict magistrates said the evidence Parker-Smythe had given was confusing and contradictory.

They added her initial fraudulent claim in October 2009 was reinforced by the fact she declared and provided evidence of only one of her pensions to a visiting officer who reviewed her entitlement in June 2010.

All the falsely claimed benefits will be recovered by Redditch Borough Council through their own methods.
  • Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should know they will have to pay back twice what they stole. They should not be eligible for any benefits until they have, and they should have to do some unpaid work every week until the debt to society is cleared.

    That would be a deterrent.

    A confiscation order should be made immediately.

    Hit them in the pocket!

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