Man escapes jail after admitting to another fraud

The Oxford Times: AN award-winning charity has received a welcome windfall in the form of a grant from a housing developer. AN award-winning charity has received a welcome windfall in the form of a grant from a housing developer.

A fraudster has admitted claiming benefits he was not entitled to for the second time this year.

Mark Stimpson, 38, from Botley, Oxford, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to committing fraud in relation to his claims for housing and council tax benefit.

The Stubble Close resident had failed to tell Vale of White Horse District Council that one of his children had left full-time education and had begun work, and should no longer have counted as a dependant.

As a result, he received more than £2,000 he was not entitled to between September last year and May this year.

In May he was given a suspended prison sentence and told to complete 80 hours’ unpaid work after failing to tell the council he had worked at two pubs, meaning he received £11,000 in overpayments between March 2009 and May 2012.

But magistrates decided not to activate the suspended sentence and instead ordered him to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay £360 costs.

Matthew Barber, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said following the hearing: “I very much hope that after being punished twice in just seven months for committing the same offence this individual finally learns his lesson.”

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