16 Jan 2015

Light sentence for benefit thief, 75

A pensioner has been given a 12-month community order for receiving more than £55,000 through benefit fraud.

Veronica Knibbs, from Blackbird Leys, Oxford, pleaded guilty in December in Oxford Magistrates Court to dishonestly taking £56,113 in housing benefit, council tax benefit and council tax reduction.

The 75-year-old was charged with failing to declare personal savings and making false statements to West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council between July 2000 and May 2014.

Miss Knibbs was sentenced on January 8 at Oxford Crown Court, where she received a 12-month community order and was told to do 150 hours’ unpaid work.

Labour city councillor for Rose Hill and Iffley and deputy leader of the council Ed Turner said:
This case illustrates the robust procedures that we have in place at the city council to detect fraud and ensure that those found to be abusing the system are dealt with in a firm and appropriate manner.
Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC said that Miss Knibbs should feel shame for taking money from the state, adding that she had been thoroughly dishonest for many years.


Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should know they will have to pay back twice what they stole.

That would be a deterrent.

A confiscation order should be made immediately.

Finding unpaid work for someone aged 76 will probably be more trouble than it's worth.

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