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Southampton lorry driver jailed for £62,000 fraud
3:30pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
A LORRY driver will be spending the next year behind bars after cheating the taxpayer out of £62,000 in benefits over eight years.
Steven John Wiseman admitted to claiming the cash over a “significant period of time” while he had been working for a catering company.
The 45-year-old, of Primrose Road, Swaythling, Southampton, had initially claimed payments to look after his 16- year-old daughter and to look after his mother who had been injured in a road accident. But he failed to inform the authorities that he had been working at Just Rolls in Shirley since 2004 despite claiming more than £5,000 in carer’s allowance.
“That employment would have required him to declare it. He didn’t do so,” said prosecutor Rob Welling.
In August 2009, Wiseman was asked if he was working. “He said he was not,” Mr Welling added. He also claimed more than £36,000 on income support, more than £19,400 for housing support and more than £5,000 for council tax.
Wiseman had appeared at Southampton Crown Court and admitted three charges of benefit fraud. He was given a total of 12 months in jail to run concurrently and ordered to repay the £62,000.
Defending counsel Barnaby Shaw told the court that Wiseman had been claiming while he was looking after his daughter and his mother.
Mr Shaw said that Wiseman had failed to alert the council that he was claiming all this money and when the opportunity came to do so he did not.
“It would mean admitting to them he had been claiming money to which he was not entitled to. He was in a hole which was getting deeper and deeper,” Mr Shaw said.
He added that the lifestyle that he had been leading was not of those “affluent benefit families” and that he was still caring for his mother and his daughter.