28 Apr 2014

Another meaningless benefit fraud sentence

Here we have a couple of low-lifes who have got away without any real punishment.

A couple who won £250,000 on the lottery have been found guilty of falsely claiming more than £42,000 of benefits.

Alfred Wells, 64, and Patricia Marshall, 55, lied they only had around £800 in savings in order to illegally claim housing benefit, pension credit and council tax.

In reality the couple from West Boldon, South Tyneside, had won a large amount of money in 2008 and Mr Wills had also been given a £38,000 retirement windfall.

They were rumbled by authorities last year, with Mr Wells admitting straight away he had been dishonest.

‘All I am saying is hands up, I have been caught. I have been an idiot, a fraudster, whatever you are going to call it,’ he told police when he was arrested.

The couple both pleaded guilty to benefit fraud at Newcastle Crown Court and were given eight month custodial terms, which are suspended for the next two years.

Mr Wells and Ms Marshall have since paid back the illegally claimed money.

So they've suffered no financial penalty. They just paid back what they'd stolen.

They haven't gone to prison.

They haven't done any unpaid work.

They just carry on with their lives.

Benefit thieves should have to pay back twice what they've stolen. And any benefit thief who doesn't go to prison should have to do some unpaid work.

No comments: