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Skegness benefits cheat kept £30,000 bank savings a secret

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: September 26, 2012

Skegness Magistrates' Court

A 64-YEAR-OLD Skegness man, who failed to declare he had more than £30,000 in a bank account when he applied for benefits, has been fined by magistrates.

Barrie Stuart Hancock of Gleneagles Drive admitted obtaining £4,537 in income support for his then partner, between June 1, 2010 and May 11, 2011.

He also admitted obtaining on his own account, £326 in pension credit in August 2011 and £1,266 in council tax benefit in September 2010.

Skegness Magistrates Court was told that benefit would not have been paid if the authorities had known Hancock had £33,000 in a bank account as the legal amount allowed to be held was £16,000.

When confronted with the information, Hancock admitted failing to declare all his capital, saying: "If you don't try, you don't get."

The magistrates were told that most of the money had been paid back, but they also heard that Hancock was fined for a similar offence in 2008. In mitigation, it was said that only an inheritance from his mother had pushed him over the financial limit.

It was said on his behalf that Hancock was loathed to give his partners any details of his money, as he had in the past lost money to them when they had split up.

As a result, when his previous partner had applied for income benefit, he had not declared the amount of money he had.

Magistrates said the case was serious enough for a community penalty but there was no order suitable for him, so they were substituting a higher band fine instead.

Hancock was fined a total of £600 and ordered to pay £100 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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