Leeds ice cream man illegally claimed benefits

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AN ice cream illegally claimed over £23,000 in benefits after lying to authorities that he had no money.

Paul Day, 38, made claims for income support, council tax and housing benefits over a three-year period.

Leeds Crown Court heard Day, of Asket Avenue, Seacroft, made the claims over three seven-month periods and failed to tell authorities that he had savings in the bank.

On one occasion he claimed he had savings of £1.68p despite having £17,000 in his bank account.

On another occasion he left the section relating to savings on the benefits claim form blank despite having savings of £55,000.

Day was arrested and initially claimed the money had been given to him by his mother.

The court heard Day’s mother was contacted but refused to have anything to do with investigation

Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said Day then claimed the money had been given to him by a friend.

He pleaded guilty to five offences of fraud.

The offending took place between 2008 and 2011.

Marlon Grossman, mitigating, said Day had admitted the offences at an early opportunity.

Day was made the subject of a 12 month community order and ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work.

Recorder Richard Wright, QC, said: “When you dishonestly kept claiming benefits to which you were not entitled, you were stealing from everybody who works hard and pays their taxes to fund the benefits system.”

Recorder Wright described Day as a hard working family man who would be in a position to repay the money he had illegally claimed.