A MAN who committed benefit fraud has been handed a community service order and placed on curfew.
Worcester magistrates were told how Jason Smith, who now lives in Clifton Thorpe, Smisby Road, Ashby-de-le- Zouch, Leicestershire, claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit in relation to a property he rented in Swan’s Reach, Swan Lane, Evesham, from November 2009 until January this year.
A joint investigation launched by Wychavon District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions found Smith, aged 27, failed to declare he was working fulltime from May to October 2011.
He was also living with his partner, who was also working, at the same address from March 2011.
Nick Jefferies, head of shared services at Wychavon District Council, said: “We consider benefit fraud to be a serious matter.
“People have a duty to notify us and report any change in circumstances when it comes to matters that might affect benefit payments, just as we have a duty to protect public funds.”
When interviewed in March 2012, Smith admitted he had worked and was living with his partner until his claims ended in January 2012.
He has since married his partner and has moved to Leicestershire with his wife.
Smith, who pleaded guilty to all charges, received overpayments of £703.93 in Jobseeker’s Allowance and a total of £5,263.70 in housing benefit and council tax benefit.
He was given a 10-week curfew order from 7pm to 7am, during which he will be electronically tagged, and was ordered to fully repay all the benefits to which he was not entitled and £100 costs.