Taxi driver, 66, claimed to be unemployed in order to pocket �11,000 in benefits

A 66-YEAR-old taxi driver claimed to be unemployed in order to pocket more than �11,000 in benefits, Fenland magistrates heard yesterday.

William Harrison received more than �10,000 in pension credit and over �1,000 in Council Tax benefit after failing to declare that he was a driver for J & J Taxis, in March.

Hannah Edwards, prosecuting, told magistrates that Harrison had made the claim in October 2006 - stating on the form that only his wife was employed. He had started his job a month before.

Harrison, of The Greys, March, admitted two charges of benefit fraud.

Ian Graham, mitigating, said: “Mr Harrison is 66 and a previous good character. In the last few moments he has lost that good character.

“These offences were not motivated by greed, they were to ease the terrible financial mess he had got himself into.”

Magistrates heard that Harrison had never kept records of his finances and had taken out “loan after loan” as debts spiralled.

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Mr Graham said: “There wasn’t significant planning. It was mainly out of desperation - it wasn’t a desire to live above his means.

“It was motivated out of a desire not to lose his family home.”

Magistrates adjourned the case for sentencing on March 11.

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