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Man had £130,000 in the bank while falsely claiming benefits
A MAN has been jailed for falsely claiming benefits when he had more than £130,000 in the bank.
Robert Wills, of Lawrence Way, Bicester, was found guilty of falsely claiming benefits over a two-year period following a three-week trial earlier this year at Oxford Crown Court.
The 60-year-old yesterday was jailed for six months for four counts of failing to disclose a change in his circumstances which he knew would affect his entitlement to three benefits.
From May 2008 to September 2010, he overclaimed income support from the Department for Work and Pensions; between June 2008 and May 2010 he overclaimed housing benefit from Cherwell District Council; and from February 2010 to August 2010 he overclaimed both housing benefit and council tax benefit from Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Martin Scott, prosecuting, said in total the defendant claimed £22,893.14 despite having two bank accounts, containing £45,000 and about £88,000.
Wills, who had been remanded in custody, represented himself throughout his trial.
He said Mr Scott’s description of the case was “prejudicial” and contained “misinformation” - something dismissed by Judge Patrick Eccles.
Addressing Judge Eccles, pictured, Wills said: “I would ask, because I have been told by various people that I have already served enough time in prison, that I should be released for time served.”
However Judge Eccles jailed him and told him he had been found guilty of falsely claiming benefits for a significant period of time while having thousands in the bank.
He told Wills: “You dishonestly failed to declare that fact on a number of occasions when you were required to do so. And frankly it seems you are never going to acknowledge that you acted dishonestly.”
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