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Benefit cheat told to pay back illegal claims

Worcester Editorial 6th Feb, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A BENEFIT cheat who illegally claimed more than £3,000 in payments has been ordered to pay back everything he owes.

Jason Knight, of The Tything, was also told to pay £715 in fines, court costs and victim surcharges, on top of his £3,112.80 overpayment, after pleading guilty to two counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his benefit entitlements.

The 41-year-old was claiming both housing and council tax benefits and job seekers allowance when he was out of employment, but continued to do so when he found work as a labourer.

On Friday (January 31) Worcester Magistrates Court heard Knight did not have an income while he was claiming originally, but then found part time work with a small firm in August 2011.

He was working 16 hours a week, therefore still qualifying for benefits, but as the hours of employment went up Knight failed to notify the city council and job centre about the changes and was subsequently prosecuted.

Mark Sheward, defending solicitor, said: “He’s now working in full-time employment and doesn’t claim any benefits at all.

“He works seven days a week very often, as a labourer, and he’s come to court today and accepts wholeheartedly what he has done.”

Knight was fined £300 for each of the two charges, told to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

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