Benefit thief was working at security company

By by Court Reporter newsdesk@newsiom.co.im Twitter: @iomnewspapers in Crime

A 29-year-old man from Jurby has been sentenced to 70 hours community service for a benefit fraud worth £1,489.

Stephen Thomas Simpson, of The Bretney, admitted the offence and was given 12 months to complete the work.

The court heard that Simpson had been claiming Job Seekers Allowance since January 14, 2016, using an address in Ballaugh.

When Department of Health and Social Care staff asked a woman Simpson was living with, she said he was working for Protec Security.

In May 2016 Simpson informed the DHSC that he was working for Protec but he had still declared no work, despite a statement from the employer showing that he had been paid £4,924.

He was asked twice to attend an interview with the DHSC but did not attend.

The total overpayment of benefits was £1,489.91, of which Simpson has since paid back £442, with £1,047 remaining outstanding.

Defence advocate Deborah Myerscough asked magistrates if they were happy to follow the recommendation of the probation report which cited community service as a suitable penalty and they agreed that they were.

Ms Myerscough said: ’Mr Simpson has made significant efforts to pay back quite a lot of the money overpaid.

’He is the only wage earner in a large family with four children. He also pays maintenance in respect of another child of £60 per week.

Simpson was also ordered to pay £50 prosecution costs and a compensation order was made for the outstanding amount of £1,047.

He will pay the costs and compensation at a rate of £10 per week.

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