Man falsely claimed more than £12,000 in benefits, court told

PUBLISHED: 20:45 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 06:17 20 October 2020

A Norwich Crown Court : Photo: Adrian Judd.

A Norwich Crown Court : Photo: Adrian Judd.

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A 25-year-old man falsely claimed more than £12,000 in benefits while failing to declare he was also working, a court heard.

Peter Duncan, of Viscount Close, Diss, was claiming carers allowance for looking after his father, under which if he earned more than £100 a week he was supposed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said that the claim set out as a legitimate one but then he failed to inform the DWP when he had obtained work and was earning more than the £100 a week.

He said that during the first period of offending between 2011 and 2015 he had not told the DWP when he got some temporary work for a matter of a few weeks.

Mr Gladwell said that Duncan then stopped claiming but then in March 2016 he started claiming again and declared on a form he was not working, which was fraudulent from the outset.

Mr Gladwell said that the false claims led to a total of £12,349 being falsely paid out to Duncan.

Mr Gladwell said that Duncan, who was of previous good character was now paying back the cash by making regular payments of £200.

The court heard he had so far paid back £1,400.

Duncan, of Viscount Close, Diss, admitted failing to notify the DWP about a change in circumstances between June 2011 and May 2015 and March 2016 and September 2019.

Michael Clare, for Duncan, said that Duncan worked in a residential care home for adults with learning difficulties and was also still committed to caring for his father.

He said that Duncan was not sophisticated fraudster, but had turned a blind eye to what was happening.

“He is not a person who is devious. He was turning a blind eye. He put it out of his mind and did not think about it.”

He said that he had been paying the money back from his earnings,

Judge Maureen Bacon imposed a 12 month community order and made him do 200 hours unpaid work.

She also ordered him to pay £160 towards prosecution costs.

She told Duncan that he knew he should not have claimed the money and as a result had now lost his good character.

However, she accepted he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

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