DCSIMG

Padiham man (65) wrongly claimed £52,000 housing benefit

Burnley Magistrates' Court.

Burnley Magistrates' Court.

A Padiham man who claimed housing benefit had failed to state he was the joint owner of the property.

Peter Davis (65), of Gawthorpe Street, was found guilty when he appeared at Burnley Magistrates’ Court, on two cases of submitting false information to receive housing benefit.

Davis was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £1,825 costs and a £80 victim surcharge.

The prosecution was brought by Burnley Council.

The court was told that, in September 2003 and June 2013, Davis submitted an application form for housing benefit stating he was renting the property from a landlord when, in fact, he was the joint owner of the property and had not declared this to the council.

Davis attended an interview under caution where he denied the offence saying he did not know he was the owner.

He later admitted he was the joint owner.

As a result of his actions Davis over-claimed £52,005.63 in housing benefit.

The investigation was detected when a benefit officer became suspicious about the claim he submitted in June 2013 and alerted the council’s benefit fraud team.

A council spokesman said: “Benefit fraud is theft and offenders will be caught. Thousands of pounds are lost each year to benefit cheats and Burnley Council is committed to reducing fraud.”

Anyone wishing to report benefit fraud can ring the freephone hotline on 0800 1691304, email investigations@burnley.gov.uk or report it online at www.burnley.gov.uk/forms/report-benefit-fraud

 
 
 

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