1:09pm Wednesday 18th September 2013
By Sarah Taylor
AN Evesham man, who fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds in council tax benefit, was saving it for old age, a court was told.
Terence Hughes, aged 58, of Greenhill in Evesham, was found guilty of benefit fraud after he was given £6,704.49 in benefits from November 2006, which he was not entitled to.
He was prosecuted by Wychavon District Council’s benefit investigations team after stating in his applications he did not work and providing details of the capital he held in specific bank accounts.
But after investigation it was found Hughes had failed to declare money held in a number of undisclosed bank accounts. He had also failed to disclose this money, which exceeded the limit of £16,000 meaning he did not qualify for the benefit, in later claims.
Hughes immediately admitted his guilt when he was interviewed in November last year.
He then appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, August 15, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly failing to report a change in his circumstances and false representation by dishonestly not reporting his capital on a number benefit application forms.
His case was adjourned until Thursday, 5 September, for sentencing.
In his defence, Hughes expressed remorse and said he held back the money for security in his old age.
He was sentenced on September 5 and given credit for his early guilty plea and the that he had been candid in explaining the reasons for his offences.
The District Judge also acknowledged Hughes had already repaid all the benefits to which he was not entitled.
He was given a 12-month Community Service Order with orders for him to perform 133 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Prosecutors for the Council were also awarded costs of £1,095, which were to be paid within six weeks.
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