Benefit cheat’s wife had four jobs

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A MAN swindled nearly £5,000 out of the unemployment benefits system – while his wife had four part-time jobs.

Samuel Bean claimed Jobseekers Allowance for himself and his wife Tracy.

The 30-year-old told the DWP he and his wife weren’t working when the family first claimed the benefit in February 2006.

But Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that Mrs Bean had four different jobs over nearly three years while benefits were still being picked up.

Prosecutor Jonathan Moreland, on behalf of the DWP, said: “Initially as a customer services assistant with Wilkinson, then as a catering assistant at a primary school, as a supply catering assistant at the same school and as a catering assistant with another employer at a primary school.

“None of the four employments were ever declared.”

Bean, of Blackhills Terrace, Horden, who has no previous convictions, admitted three counts of dishonestly obtaining money by deception from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions between May 23, 2006 and August 31, 2006, between September 1, 2006 and March 8, 2007 and between May 11, 2007 and March 12, 2009.

Sam Brewster, mitigating, said family disapproval at his relationship with Mrs Bean and a lack of work in the North East after moving to his wife’s native Horden from Milton Keynes, where they met, had led to the onslaught of severe depression for Bean at the initial time of the claim.

He told the court that all of Mrs Bean’s jobs had been part-time, and were only for one or two hours a day, but accepted they should have been declared.

Mr Brewster said Mrs Bean had filled in the declaration forms while her husband had been ill in bed.

He added that Bean was now turning his life around, and was working as a self-employed courier.

Magistrates fined Bean £255 and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £150 costs.