Leeds OAP taxi driver in £51,000 benefit fraud

A PENSIONER who fraudulently claimed more than £50,000 in benefits 'to make ends meet' while working as a taxi driver has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Thursday, 24th March 2016, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2016, 1:08 pm

Grandfather David Rivett, 77, dishonestly claimed pension credit and housing and council tax benefits for around ten years from 2005, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor, Richard Woolfall, said Rivett, of Westfield Court, Burley, Leeds, originally claimed for the benefits in early 2005 when he stated he was single and unemployed.

Mr Woolfall said in April 2005, Rivett applied for a taxi licence and renewed that licence every year until 2014.

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Rivett worked as a private hire driver until 2015 when he failed his medical and was no longer able to continue.

Father-of-four Rivett admitted two charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances affecting entitlement to social security benefits.

Mitigating Genan Hashim, said: “He had very little income coming in from his taxi driver services. This is not a man who has lived a luxurious lifestyle as a result of this.

“He lives alone in a two-bedroom flat. He didn’t have holidays. He has very little in the way of savings. I’m told this was just to make ends meet.”

Miss Hashim said Rivett drove a private hire vehicle for 14 years, adding: “He retired and then he decided to return back to work after he retired. It was a genuine claim to start with.”

Handing Rivett a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years Judge James Spencer QC, told him: “For 67 years you kept out of trouble and then during eight or ten years you defrauded the state of £51,000.”

A proceeds of crime application hearing will take place at Leeds Crown Court at a later date.