Bradwell man who falsely claimed nearly £40,000 in benefits gets suspended jail term.
A 66 year-old man, said by a judge to have 'lined his own pockets' after he falsely claimed nearly £40,000 benefits, has been given a seven month suspended jail sentence.
Barry Suttling failed to declare he had assets of more than £100,000 when he claimed jobseekers allowance and then pension credits and also claimed council tax and housing benefits, Norwich Crown Court heard.
John Morgans, prosecuting, said the fraudulent claims related to a period between 2008 and 2014 and amounted in total to £39,397.
He said that because of the assets held by Suttling, he was not eligible for the benefits he claimed.
Suttling, of Briar Avenue, Bradwell, admitted fraudulently claiming benefits and was given a seven month suspended sentence and ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work.
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The court heard he was repaying some of the cash.
Judge Katharine Moore told Suttling he had 'lined his own pockets' with cash from the public purse.
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Andrew Oliver, for Suttling, who used to run his own building business, said that the fraud happened at a time when he had suffered a number of family bereavements and a relationship breakdown.
'He was not thinking straight as he normally would.'
He said that if Suttling had paid off his mortgage with the cash he would have legally been entitled to the benefits.