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16 Sep 2013

Man on benefits blew windfalls on drugs

A benefit fraudster who received £43,415 of public funds – while failing to declare £70,000 in windfalls – has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Mark Bloor (47) legitimately began claiming benefits in 2002.

However, he did not notify the authorities about two lump sums he later received.

An inquiry revealed that private funds totalling £17,881 in May 2007 and £53,500 in April 2008, were paid into Bloor's bank account.

After receiving the windfalls, he went on to dishonestly carry on claiming income support, housing and council tax payments, said Jonathan Cox, prosecuting.

Leicester Crown Court was told anyone with savings in excess of £16,000 is not eligible to claim benefits – and savings must be declared.

The defendant has since repaid some of the money – although most was said to have been spent on drugs.

Bloor, of Westleigh Road, West End, Leicester, admitted three counts of benefit fraud.

He was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Judge Michael Pert QC said: "You legitimately came into money and didn't declare it. You spent it, as you no doubt spent all your available money, on drugs."

He said he accepted it was not a fraudulent claim from the outset.

The court was not told where Bloor's lump sums came from.

Sally Bamford, mitigating, said: "He's a drug addict who came into money and spent it. It was frittered away. He says he's repaid £20,000. He's a vulnerable person to whom an immediate custodial sentence would mean he would lose all his hard-won stability."

He is receiving support to turn his life around, she said.

"The probation service seem content he is, within reason, managing his life," said Judge Pert.

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