A benefit cheat has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service after admitting obtaining more than £8,000 he was not entitled to.
Following an investigation by Cherwell District Council, Robert Michael Hope, 62, of Gibbs Road, Banbury, appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on October 8.
Hope had previously pleaded guilty to five charges of benefit fraud.
He had been charged with knowingly failing to disclose changes in circumstances and making false statements that affected his claims to the council.
Hope had obtained £8,358.05 in housing and council tax benefits.
He was sentenced to 150 hours of community service – to be completed within 12 months – and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and court costs of £250.
Hope will now have a criminal record and has also been ordered to repay the cash to the council.
Councillor Ken Atack, the council’s lead member for financial management, said: “The more agencies work together and pool their information, the harder it is for criminals to cover up benefit fraud – and this is a good example. The council was alerted to Mr Hope’s undeclared works pension through the Audit Commission’s National Fraud Initiative, which matches data held on various computer systems.
“The data match highlighted that Mr Hope had an undeclared civil service pension.
“He admitted to having this in an interview under caution. But investigators then established that Mr Hope had a further pension with British Airways which also hadn’t been declared.”
Magistrates took into account the seriousness of the matter in sentencing Hope.
Those with information about people trying to cheat the benefit system can call Cherwell District Council’s confidential fraud hotline on freephone 0800 716152.