Royston benefit cheat given curfew after failing to declare £40,000 compensation payment
- Credit: Archant
A benefit cheat who failed to declare he had received a £40,000 compensation payment was handed an evening curfew and fined at a court hearing yesterday (Thursday).
Richard Kenyon – formerly of Church Street in Litlington but now of Weston Avenue in Royston – admitted one offence of failing to report a change in circumstances that affected his benefit entitlement when appearing at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
An investigation was launched by South Cambridgeshire District Council following a review of his claim in February 2012 after the 39-year-old mentioned that he had received an interim payment of compensation. However, he then failed to provide further details when asked.
The investigation uncovered that Kenyon had been awarded £40,000 in August 2010 following an injury at work, but he did not report this change in circumstances to the district council which were paying him benefits until the review of his claim.
It was found that he had been overpaid £5,907 in housing benefit.
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Kenyon was invited to interviews under caution to discuss the matter, but failed to attend. He was summoned to court but again failed to attend, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest.
He was brought before magistrates on May 17 and pleaded guilty, before returning for sentencing yesterday.
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Kenyon will serve a community sentence of three months and is subject to a three-month curfew order which means he must remain at home between the hours of 9pm and 6am.
He was also ordered to pay back the overpaid money in full, the district council’s full costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £60.
Cllr Simon Edwards, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance at the district council, said: “This case shows that even when fraudsters fail to co-operate with investigators we will continue to pursue them and bring them to book. We are thankful to the police for their efforts in tracing Mr Kenyon so he could be brought before the court. Benefit fraud is a crime which takes money away from people in genuine need and I am sure our residents will be pleased that the money must now be repaid in full.”
Anyone wishing to report suspected benefit fraud should can do so by calling 0800 7311892 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org