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21 Feb 2014

Conditional discharges for benefit thieves

A woman who admitted benefit fraud has been given a two-year conditional discharge by magistrates in Preston.

Kelly Johnson, 29, from Holme Slack, Preston, admitted failing to notify the DWP promptly when her domestic circumstances changed. She was living with a boyfriend, who worked full time,and this was said to have affected her income support entitlement. Johnson was also ordered to pay £85 costs.

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A man found guilty of stealing £3,531 in benefits from Melton Council has been sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge.

Philip John Craddock, 49, was found guilty of three charges of benefit fraud when he appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court. He was found guilty of claiming housing and council tax benefit, after making a false declaration by failing to report he had started full-time employment for Rutland Water Cycling Limited in 2011, and for failing to report a change in his wife’s employment in 2010. As well as having to pay back all of the money he falsely claimed, Craddock was given a conditional discharge, ordered to pay £75 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

A Melton Council spokesman said:
Mr Craddock failed three opportunities given to him to attend the council offices for an interview about this matter and his case was progressed for prosecution. There are no excuses for benefit fraud - it is a crime.
And he got a slap on the wrist.

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