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3 May 2013

Judge orders arrest of benefit fraud DWP pensioner

A Judge has ordered the arrest of a pensioner who falsely claimed £46,000 in benefits – but has repeatedly failed to attend court.

Kim Smith, aged 57, was due for sentence at Plymouth Crown Court.

Smith's case had been adjourned five times before for various medical reasons.

But his barrister, Jason Beal (who's paying for all these appearances?), said that Smith's solicitor had not heard from him since the last hearing.

Judge Paul Darlow issued a bench warrant, meaning Smith must surrender to custody or he will be arrested and brought to court.

Smith, of Windsor, St Martin's, Looe, admitted back in October three charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances over six years. He was wrongly paid incapacity benefit, income support and council tax relief.

He did not inform the authorities of a pension from the Department for Work and Pensions – the very body which is prosecuting him. Databases not communicating even within the department!

Smith also faces proceedings to seize assets as the proceeds of crime.

The court heard previously that Smith was suffering from problems including asthma and depression.

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