Monday, 13 February 2012


A Cliftonville man has been jailed for nine months, after pleading
guilty to fraudulently claiming nearly £70,000 in benefits.

Alan Marshall (65) of Warwick Road was claiming Housing Benefit and
Pension Credits, based on the fact that he and his wife were renting a
room at Warwick Road and that they had a low income. A joint
investigation with the Department for Work and Pensions discovered in
fact Mr. Marshall was living at the property rent free as it was owned
by his wife’s brother. Mr. Marshall then went on to purchase the
entire property from his brother-in-law at a reduced price and continued
to claim for Housing Benefit even though he now owned the house

At the same time, Mr. Marshall was falsely claiming Pension Credits
from the Department for Work and Pensions, as he had failed to declare
that he received a private pension from 20 years service in the RAF and
that his wife was employed at the QEQM Hospital in Margate.

As a result of the joint investigation, Alan Marshall was found to have
received £37,437.10 in Housing Benefit and £31,215.08 in Pension Credit
that he was not entitled to.

In sentencing the defendant to nine months in prison, Judge Simon James
stated that Mr. Marshall had experienced a dramatic fall from grace for
a retired man who could previously be said to have been of good

Judge James continued by adding that “in these times of economic
hardship for all, it is hard to feel sympathy for someone who has
obtained in excess of £68,000 through deliberate and blatant lies.” He
added that the money allowed Mr Marshall and his wife a more comfortable
standard of life and that “you would not expect to escape prison for
walking into a neighbour’s house and stealing £68,000 and so a clear
message must be sent as a deterrent.”

Cllr. Michelle Fenner, Cabinet Member for Business Services, said: “I
agree wholeheartedly with the judge’s comments in this case. His
comparison of walking into a neighbour’s house and stealing this
amount of money helps to put benefit fraud into perspective. It’s not
a victimless crime. When someone claims benefits fraudulently, they’re
stealing from every single one of us that pays Council Tax.”

The council is in the process of getting a charging order against the
property, so that the Housing Benefit that was fraudulently claimed will
be recovered.

To report someone you suspect of Housing Benefit and Council Tax
benefit fraud call 01843 577369 or via the council’s website To notify the council of a change in your
circumstances if you are claiming benefits, call 01843 577000 or e-mail

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive and anonymous derogatory comments about real people will be deleted. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.