Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 8°C


Benefit cheat, 23, ordered
to carry out unpaid work

13:19 03 October 2010

IPSWICH: A 23-year-old man is today faced with doing unpaid work after admitting failing to notify the borough council of a change of circumstances while claiming benefit.


South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard Owen Cook, of Keats Crescent, Ipswich, did not inform the council his Job Seekers’ Allowance had ended in February 2009.

He continued to receive housing benefit for a further five months before a data matching exercise brought the case to the attention of the borough council’s benefit investigation team.

Cook failed to attend three separate invitations to an interview under caution with officers from the council where he could have submitted mitigating circumstances as to why he failed in his responsibility to advise of the change in his circumstances.

However, it was decided there was sufficient evidence for proceedings to be instigated against Cook for falsely claiming £1,488.

Magistrates ordered Cook to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community and pay £100 costs. He was also told the benefit overpayment must be repaid.

After the case, Peter Sawyer from the council’s investigation team said: “Although the overpayment was not a significant amount in comparison to some of the cases we have dealt with, it has resulted in this man receiving a criminal conviction.

“This is a situation that could have possibly been avoided if he had attended the interviews we invited him to and could have given his reasons for not telling the council about the changes in his circumstances. We may well have been able to deal with this without recourse to the magistrates court”.

Mr Cook added it is vital any changes in circumstances which could have an affect on anyone’s benefit claim be advised to the council at the earliest opportunity. People should not to rely upon any other government department to pass on the information.

If you know or suspect anyone of claiming Housing Benefit fraudulently please contact the Benefit Fraud Hotline on 01473-433999 or log on to the Ipswich Borough Council website and complete the anonymous fraud referral form found under “Benefit Fraud”.



Cannabis found at a house in Powling Road in Ipswich.

An illegal immigrant is facing a jail term after police found nearly 400 plants and seedlings at a cannabis factory set up in an east Ipswich house.

Orwell Bridge

A man has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.

John Hobson, 65, of Mill Road in Colchester, who died following the crash

The partner of a man, who died following a crash in west Suffolk, has paid tribute to her “one true love”.

Alison Wheeler and Tony Brown.

Suffolk’s libraries are facing budget cuts of more than 20% over the next two years – but their chairman has pledged that no branches will be closed.

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

It was a rather uneventful night for former Ipswich Town player Kieron Dyer in the I’m A Celebrity... jungle last night

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m pleasure palace

Excitement is building as Ipswich prepares to welcome a string of big-name restaurants as part of the Buttermarket makeover.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service dealing with crane fire on M25. Photo: David Stubbs

Motorists travelling further afield are being urged to avoid the M25 this morning after a lorry fire.

It's been a busy day in Ipswich

All the news from a busy day in Ipswich in video form, including the closure of Marks and Spencer, station revamp and sport.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24