20th Sep, 2020

Benefit cheat cons government out of £3K

Worcester Editorial 9th Oct, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A MAN has pleaded guilty to claiming nearly £3,000 in benefits for more than a year after he started a full time job.

Luke Pingree, previously of Hazel Close, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday (October 2) to two counts of failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change of circumstances.

Jackie Rogers, prosecuting, told the court the 27-year-old had falsely claimed the benefits from September 2012 until August 18, 2014, and gained £2,800.

“He went into meetings with job seekers representatives and continued to say ‘no work paid or otherwise’ and carried on claiming,” he added

“The claim was not dishonest from the outset but when he did obtain employment he failed to notify the JSA.”

Pingree represented himself, he said: “I would like to apologise for what I did. It’s not the way I normally do things. I was working for nine months and I am now working to pay it all off.”

Chair of the bench, Stuart Allerton, said although the offence would warrant a community penalty there would be nothing gained by putting an order in place.

Instead he fined Pingree £275 and ordered him to pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £28 victim surcharge.

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