Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Suffolk Coastal: Council pledge to pursue benefit cheats

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 December 2012

Suffolk Coastal District Council has pledged to continue its fight against benefit cheats

Suffolk Coastal District Council has pledged to continue its fight against benefit cheats

Archant

COUNCIL chiefs have vowed to continue to take a tough stance against benefit cheats, following two successful prosecutions.

Amanda Shuter, 53, of The Street, Walberswick, was fined £500 after she failed to tell Suffolk Coastal District Council about a change in circumstances when she received more than £110,000 from the proceeds of her mother’s will.

It resulted in her wrongly receiving £6,671.89 of housing benefits and £1,850.63 of council tax benefits.

She pleaded guilty to one offence of dishonestly making a false statement for the purpose of obtaining benefit at Lowestoft Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Along with a £500 fine, £150 costs and £15 victim surcharge, she will also have to pay back the money she claimed – an overall total of £9,187.52.

At an unrelated hearing on Tuesday, Amy Robinson, of Wadgate Road, Felixstowe, admitted two charges of failing to notify the relevant authorities of a change in her circumstances that affected her entitlement to claim benefits.

The 24-year-old, formerly of Cricket Hill Road, Felixstowe, received £4,303.33 of housing benefits and £776.69 of council tax benefit from Suffolk Coastal and £2,734.36 of income support from the Department of Work and Pensions when she failed to say her partner had moved into her home in June last year.

Magistrates in Ipswich fined her £140 for each charge along with demanding £75 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, while she will also have to pay back the money she claimed – a total bill of £8,184.38.

In a statement released after the court case, Siobhan Martin, Suffolk Coastal’s audit partnership manager, said the authority was committed to rooting out all benefit fraud and reclaiming what had been paid out.

“This should be a further stark warning to those who are tempted to cheat the system and claim money to which they are not entitled that they will be caught,” she said.

“The consequences are likely to mean legal action and the repayment of all money that has been wrongly received.

“At a time when everyone’s finances are under pressure, and local councils particularly, we have to be more vigilant than ever on payments and we will continue to seek out and penalise the small minority who are intent on taking what is not rightfully theirs.

“However, we are also committed to helping those who are genuinely in need to get the support they deserve.”

To report a suspected fraud contact Suffolk Coastal’s confidential hotline on 01394 444444 or e-mail fraud.investigation@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk.

Those who would like more information about the benefits they are entitled to can call 01394 444838 or visit www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourhome/benefits.

1 comment

  • So they've prosecuted two people when there must be at least hundreds on the fiddle. Long way to go.

    Report this comment

    JOHN BURLS

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

Suffolk police are to take part in a pre-planned terrorist training exercise today just hours after a suicide bomber killed more than 20 people, including children, and injured nearly 60 in Manchester.

Campaigning for the General Election both locally and nationally has been suspended in the wake of the terrorist atrocity in Manchester.

The death toll from the Manchester bomb attack has risen to 22, with 59 injured, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins said.

One of Ipswich’s most prolific pilferers has become the first shoplifter to be given a criminal behaviour order banning him from all the shops in the town centre.

Trains between Ipswich and Lowestoft were cancelled this morning, due to overrunning engineering works.

A motorist who was petrified of going to prison after committing his fourth drink-driving offence has been branded as “selfish” and “ignorant” by the mother of a Suffolk man killed by a drink-driver.

Couples thinking about having a baby are invited to meet fertility experts at an information day.

The hoardings around a new Joules store under construction in Ipswich have come away, revealing the brand’s trademark yellow facade.

Damage was caused to the windows and wing mirrors of several vehicles in Felixstowe over the weekend.

Visitors will be able to learn more about Ipswich Hospital’s vision for the future and see some of its innovative equipment in action during an open day.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24