Benefit fraud dad faces jail

From the courts
From the courts

A Derbyshire dad fiddled more than £25,000 worth of state benefits.

Mark Heyes, 46, was working when he claimed Job Seekers’ Allowance and housing and council tax benefits.

His solicitor, Joe Harvey, said he was in dire financial straits.

“It wasn’t a fraudulent claim from the outset,” he said.

“After paying his bills he only had £15 to live on and out of that he had to pay child maintenance.

“He was offered some work and it was always going to be a stop-gap. But his father was very poorly and he needed money to visit him.”

He added: “His father lasted longer than anticipated and, to fund the visits, he continued working and misled the Jobcentre.

“He acknowledges he will receive a custodial sentence in excess of 12 months.”

Heyes, of Williamthorpe Road, North Wingfield, admitted making false statements to claim benefit and failing to notify a change in circumstances that affected his entitlement to benefit.

The offences, which involved a total of £25,155, were committed between April and September 2009.

He was committed for sentence at Derby Crown Court on September 7. Heyes, who faces other charges, was remanded in custody.