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Benefit cheat prosecuted
A Whitby man who stole over £33,000 through benefit fraud was
told by a Judge at York Crown Court that he had lost his good
character by committing a litany of dishonesty offences.
Edward George Barnes, aged 58, of Chapel Yard Staithes made
numerous false statements to Scarborough Borough Council and the
Department for Work and Pensions between 2005 and 2011. The court
heard that Barnes had fallen into debt after losing his job and
committed the crimes in order to conceal this from his wife. Barnes
pleaded guilty on all counts.
Recorder, J Barnett noted that Barnes was of previous good
character and imposed a sentence of 9 months in custody, suspended
for 2 years and a community order for 150 hours of unpaid work.
Addressing Barnes, Recorder Barnett said of the Community
“I believe you are no stranger to hard work and you might even
Hearing that Barnes had been made bankrupt, the Judge refused
the council’s request for costs and a compensation order,
suggesting that the council take action in civil court to recover
the debt outstanding.
Scarborough Borough Council’s Head of Finance and Asset
Management, Nicholas Edwards said:
“This is an enormous sum of public money stolen over a number of
years, through multiple and repeated acts of dishonesty. This
individual stole public money across a range of benefits including
Housing and Council Tax Benefit, Income Support and Jobseekers’
Allowance, he now has a criminal record as a consequence. The
council is committed to detecting fraud, it can and will
prosecute the most serious cases.”
Anyone suspecting fraud can call and report a case free and
confidentially on 0800 0568154.