Pensioner claimed illegal benefits

From the courts
From the courts

A PENSIONER wrongly claimed over £13,000 in benefits despite having savings worth thousands of pounds.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday how Paul Hardwick, 60, of Poplar Drive, New Tupton, Chesterfield, failed to notify NE Derbyshire District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions about savings and wrongly claimed unentitled housing and council tax benefit and income support.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said: “He had £23,000.24 in an ISA and didn’t think that would have to be declared.

“As a result of the investigation £13,108.18 was established as the loss in public funds.”

Hardwick pleaded guilty to failing to notify NEDDC between 2005 and 2012 regarding housing and council tax benefits and pleaded guilty to failing to notify the DWP between 2004 and 2012 regarding income support. Matt Evans, defending, said Hardwick is remorseful and has lost weight because of the stress in coming to court.

Mr Evans explained Hardwick cannot read and write, needed help to complete forms and has not worked since he was 39 years-old because of ill health and he is on disability allowance and a pension. Magistrates fined Hardwick £355 fine and ordered him to pay £100 costs after they heard he is of good character and had paid back the wrongly claimed benefits.