Fenland-based son of Humphrey Lyttelton claimed benefits despite large inheritance

A SON of the celebrated jazz musician and broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton has admitted claiming more than �4,100 in benefits despite having inherited a large sum of money from his father.

David Lyttelton, 53, of Fridaybridge Road, Elm, failed to declare the inheritance while claiming Council Tax benefit from Fenland District Council and Income Support from the Department of Work and Pensions.

An investigation was launched after a story appeared in the national press saying that Humphrey Lyttelton had left more than �1million in his will after his death in April 2008 and that the estate had been shared between his four children. Subsequent checks with the Probate Office confirmed the story.

When interviewed, David Lyttelton confirmed receiving the inheritance in October 2009. He said that he had spent some of the money clearing debts but admitted that he should have declared it.

He was overpaid more than �3,600 in Income Support between October 2009 and May 2010 as well as �530 in Council Tax benefit between November 2009 and May 2010.

King’s Lynn magistrates found that he had deliberately deprived the public purse. They sentenced him to 80 hours’ unpaid work in the community and ordered him to pay �200 costs. He will also have to repay all the money he claimed.

David Lyttelton is the second person this month to be punished for claiming benefits after failing to declare a large inheritance. Earlier Donna Smith, 23, from March, was given a suspended jail sentence by Peterborough magistrates for a similar offence involving a much bigger sum.

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Councillor Kit Owen, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for benefits, said: “These cases should serve as a clear warning to others.

“They underline the need for anyone claiming benefits to declare any change in their circumstances immediately - failure to do so is an offence.

“The rules are quite clear and we will continue to enforce them rigorously.”

• In another case involving the non-disclosure of capital, Norton Lemmon, 52, of Newhaven Caravan Site, Whittlesey, admitted failing to declare more than �20,000 in a building society account when claiming benefits.

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