FENLANDER: Suspended sentence for man who dishonestly claimed more than �20k in benefits

A MAN who dishonestly claimed more than �20,000 in benefits over a two-year period has been sentenced to nine months in prison and 150 hours’ unpaid work, both suspended for two years, after admitting 12 offences of fraud.

Philip Twite, of March Road, Tipps End, Wisbech, admitted all 12 charges. He had falsely claimed a total of �20,627 in Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support between 2008 and 2010.

The case included eight offences committed when claiming benefits from West Norfolk Council, two when claiming from Fenland District Council and two when claiming from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The prosecution was brought by Fenland District Council after investigators established that he had been working as a long-distance lorry driver despite claiming benefits on the basis that he was unfit for work.

Mr Twite was also ordered to pay a �300 contribution to FDC’s costs and told he had nine months to pay it. He will also have to pay back all the money that he obtained dishonestly.

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Councillor Kit Owen, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for benefits, said: “This man cheated two councils and the DWP out of a lot of money over a long period.

“We have worked closely with our counterparts in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk to ensure that he didn’t get away with it, so we’re delighted to have secured another successful result in the courts.”

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