20 Aug 2014

Sentence deferred on benefit thief

Unemployed Shaun Phillimore, 44, raked in Job Seeker's Allowance and council tax benefits for more than four years. Yet all the time he owned three properties and kept two of them secret from the DWP.

A court heard he was not entitled to the hand-outs because he had capital assets of more than £16,000. James Haskell, prosecuting, said Phillimore claimed Job Seeker's Allowance on the basis he wasn't working and had no capital assets other than his home. He said: "He wasn't entitled to the allowance and between July 2009 and February 2013 he was paid £30,000 Job Seeker's Allowance which he wasn't entitled to." As well as the £30,000 over the four year period Phillimore also claimed nearly £5,000 in council tax benefit.

Phillimore, of Hanham, Bristol admitted two counts of fraud and Bristol Crown Court heard that he had already repaid some of the money he falsely claimed. Judge Martin Picton ordered Phillimore to repay the rest and deferred his sentencing until November.

He told him: "You can pay £19,000 and commence making payments as indicated. Come back and custody will be suspended rather than immediate."

People who claim benefits when they have assets over the limit should have to repay twice their fraudulent claim. Hit them in the pocket! - it was money that motivated their crime, after all.

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