Suspended sentence and electronic tag for Bilsthorpe benefit fraudster

A former miner who failed to declare a mineworkers’ pension when claiming benefit has received a suspended prison sentence.

Brian Turner (59), of Crompton Road, Bilsthorpe, was prosecuted by Newark and Sherwood District Council after it was found he had dishonestly claimed more than £14,000 in housing and council tax benefit. He was sentenced at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 13th June to eight weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months.

A condition was attached to the suspended sentence of an eight-week curfew from 7pm to 7am daily. This will be electronically monitored. Costs of £100 were awarded to the council, to be paid within seven days. Turner must also repay the £14,074 he dishonestly claimed.

Turner had pleaded guilty to six counts of dishonestly making false statements in order to obtain benefit at a hearing on 30th May 2012. The offences were between 11th June 2004 and 7th September 2011.

Mr Turner had signed various documents stating that the information given was correct. However, on each occasion he had failed to declare income from his mineworkers’ pension.

Mr Turner admitted the offences. He was previously of good character and didn’t have a history of debt, but couldn’t explain why he’d done what he had done.

The council’s Director for Resources, David Dickinson, said: “The benefits system exists to help people who are not in a position to support themselves financially. Unfortunately, the system is sometimes abused by people often of previous good character, but it is always incumbent upon the council and its partners, regardless of who has committed the crime, to prosecute those who abuse the system, and we will continue to do so.”

For more information on benefits and entitlements, go to www.newark-sherwooddc-gov.uk/benefits