Benefit cheat is fined after illegally receiving over £13,000

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A welfare cheat who illegally received £13,204.32 in illegal over-paid benefits has been fined.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 5 how John Stoppard, 71, received pension credit benefit at Mansfield but failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions he was receiving a second monthly Legal and General pension.

Prosecuting solicitor Sam Matkin said: “He was claiming pension credits which he was not entitled to which led to a £13,204.32 over-payment.

“He had received pension credit since 2011, for himself and this was on the grounds he only had a state pension and an occupational pension from Legal and General and he was paid by automatic credit to his accounts on the basis he had declared all his income.”

However, Stoppard failed to declare a second occupational, monthly pension from Legal and General from March, 1996, according to Mr Matkin.

Stoppard, of Great North Road, Muskham, Newark, pleaded guilty to making a false statement on or about May 5, 2011, at Mansfield, to obtain benefit by failing to declare the full extent of his pension arrangements to the DWP.

Mr Stoppard said: “I agree with the summary. I am sorry for what I have done and I am willing to pay it back.

“You do things and I just kept thinking I would never get caught and I got caught.”

The probation service explained that Stoppard worked as a miner for 32 years and has health issues including blood pressure problems, headaches and diabetes.

The court heard Stoppard has taken a job to pay back the benefits owed.

Magistrates fined Stoppard £200 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.