‘Foolish’ benefit fraudster took £6,600 from council

A MAN has been prosecuted by Scarborough Council following a £6,600 benefit fraud.

Mark Brady, 47, of Riccall, near York, admitted two charges relating to dishonestly obtaining housing benefit between 2007 and 2010.

He had been living at a flat in Cambridge Terrace, Scarborough, and failed to inform the council about his change of address.

A total of 38 overpayments were made to Brady, who the council still believed to be at the address.

Kimberley Proud, prosecuting, said that Brady had been overpaid £6,600.09 and had not offered to make any repayments.

She also asked for the amount to be repaid in full along with a £150 contribution to prosecution costs.

Peter Maynard, mitigating, said his client had fully admitted the offences and co-operated with the prosecution.

He added: “It was initially a legitimate claim, but became a fraudulent one which continued for 18 months after he’d moved out.”

Mr Maynard added that Brady, an electrical engineer, was struggling to afford his rent after being made redundant in 2008.

He said: “He moved out and had been staying with friends, but foolishly didn’t notify the council.”

Brady was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £3,600 back to Scarborough Council.

He was not told to pay back the full sum, nor any court costs, due to his limited means.

On delivering sentence, chairman of the bench Ann Clarke said: “This offence is serious enough for a high-level community order.

“It was a systematic fraud against the public purse in the sum of over £6,000.”