18 Apr 2014

Suitable court sentence for council tax cheat

Too often we have to complain of light sentences given by courts. Here's a sentence that fits the crime.

A woman who fiddled council tax discounts for four years has appeared in court following an investigation by Huntingdonshire District Council’s fraud team.

Helen McKillop, 47, falsely obtained more than £800 in deductions from her council tax bill by claiming to be the only person living at her address in Huntingdon.

But magistrates at Peterborough heard that her partner was also living there, along with another adult who was resident throughout the whole of the period.

McKillop admitted fraud between September 2009 and December 2013. She was ordered to repay the £827 council tax she evaded, fined £500 and ordered to pay £300 costs to the council.

So she has to pay nearly twice what she stole. That's a good sentence.

She was found to have committed the offence by a council team carrying out an exercise to identify people falsely claiming discounts.They discovered that she provided false information when she claimed a 25 per cent discount on her council tax bill be saying she lived alone while her partner and another adult were at the house.

After the case the council said an Audit Commission Report for 2012-13 showed that false council tax claimants in Huntingdonshire cost local tax payers between £330,000 and £550,000 a year.

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