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3 Feb 2018

Man admits benefit fraud

A Lamphey man has been fined after pleading guilty to four charges of benefit fraud.

Fifty-year-old Lee Ronald Pitman admitted two counts of failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances that would affect his entitlement to benefits such as employment support allowance and job seekers allowance, between March and September, 2013; and January 2014 and November 2015, when he appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court.

He also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to obtain job seekers allowance between August and November of 2015; and failing to notify Pembrokeshire County Council of a change of circumstances that would effect his entitlement to housing benefit between March, 2013 and October, 2015.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones told the court that the overpayment came to over £6,500:

“Over this period of time, Mr. Pitman worked for five different firms on a casual basis. He did declare some periods of work to the authorities, but not others. Following the investigation, I understand that the defendant has already paid a sum of it back. He has been out of trouble for some 27 years, when he had various convictions, including a six-year custodial sentence for robbery."

Defence solicitor Mike Kelleher told the court that Mr. Pitman had been in and out of work as a contractor for some time.

“Some of the earnings were declared, but some had slipped by the way. He has apologised for what happened, and in the region of £7,000 has been paid back, so nobody is at a loss here. The convictions are likely to effect his future employment,” added Mr. Kelleher.

Magistrates fined Mr. Pitman a total of £1,200 for the four offences and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £30 victim surcharge.

Source

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