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Benefit cheats sentenced in court

Press Release   •   May 30, 2014 12:31 BST

A Ramsbottom resident narrowly avoided jail after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining £14,744 in housing and council tax benefits.

John Partington (aged 65) of Hillside Road had failed to declare receipt of a private pension over a four-year period.

Partington was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He will have to comply with a curfew order, until 19 July 2014, during which time he must remain at his home during the hours of 8pm to 8am daily. He will also have to repay the overpayment to Bury Council.

The deception was uncovered following an anonymous tip off, alerting investigators to the fact that
Partington had undeclared income. When confronted, Partington confirmed receipt of a private pension, but stated it had only started in June 2013. Further enquiries established that he had been receiving this pension since April 2009.

In a separate case, Michael Booth (aged 52) of Lomond Drive, Bury was convicted of benefit fraud after it was discovered that he had claimed housing benefit at an address in Birks Drive, Bury where he claimed to be single and rented a room from a private landlord. It transpired that the landlord was Booth’s partner, that they were co-habiting, and that they subsequently got married.

Booth had obtained housing benefit of £1,281 and Employment Support Allowance of £1,009 which he was not entitled to.

He was ordered to undertake 140 hours’ unpaid work, pay £454.60 in costs, and repay the overpaid benefits.

Both men had pleaded guilty to the charges laid before them and were sentenced at Bury Magistrates Court on 20 May 2014.

ENDS

Press release issued: 30 May 2014.