Man jailed for fiddling benefits

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A MAN has been jailed for benefit fraud after claiming he got into money troubles because of the cost of his wedding.

Stephen Kennedy, of Buddle Close, Peterlee, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for two counts of failing to notify of a change of circumstances after he took up a job with Dewhirsts Menswear and a third of producing a false statement to obtain benefit.

The 49-year-old received income support of just over £9,850, housing benefit of £4,417 and council tax benefit of £1,662, costing the tax payer a total of £15,931 between March 2008 and September 2009.

The case was investigated jointly by Durham County Council and The Department for Work and Pensions.

Kennedy admitted to investigators that he had failed to declare his income to the relevant authorities.

In mitigation it was stated that Kennedy, who entered guilty pleas to the charges, had encountered financial difficulties after taking out a loan to finance his wedding.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court sentenced Kennedy, who has a previous conviction for a similar offence, to eight weeks’ imprisonment.

They heard how he was already committing the fraud when he was sentenced for his previous offence.