Unpaid work for benefits fraudster

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A CHARITY worker who illegally claimed more than £5,000 in benefits has been given a suspended prison sentence.

A court heard Glen West made false claims for job seekers allowance, housing and council tax benefits for almost a year, between September 2011 and August 12.

His offending came to light after he broke his leg during 2013. He told staff at a job centre what he had been doing and they launched an investigation.

Leeds Crown Court heard West’s initial claims for benefits in 2010 were genuine until he gained work as a fundraiser for a charity in September 2011.

Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said West failed to notify authorities of his job and continued to claim benefits despite earning a wage. The court heard West continued to sign a form a every two weeks stating that he had no paid work.

Between September 2011 and August 2012 he claimed £4,876 in job seekers allowance and just over £800 in housing and council tax benefits.

West eventually stopped making the illegal claims when his number of hours at work increased.

The deception was not discovered until around a year later when he received the injury and to make further benefits claims.

West, of Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Leeds, pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to notify a change in circumstance. He also pleaded guilty to breach of a suspended prison sentence, imposed for an offence of common assault of two offences of criminal damage.

The court heard West was now in the process of repaying the the money to the public purse. He pleaded guilty to the offences at the first opportunity and was sorry for what he had done.

West was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.

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