Benefit cheat to repay £21,000

PUBLISHED: 13:22 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 26 October 2009

BENEFIT cheat David Robertson will spent the next seven years paying back the money he dishonestly obtained. The 49-year-old illegally claimed £21,068 in income support, housing, invalidity and council tax benefit. Prosecutor Alexander Munro told St Alban

BENEFIT cheat David Robertson will spent the next seven years paying back the money he dishonestly obtained.

The 49-year-old illegally claimed £21,068 in income support, housing, invalidity and council tax benefit.

Prosecutor Alexander Munro told St Albans crown court today that Robertson's initial claims had been legitimate.

But in September 1998 his wife started work as a catering assistant for Herts County Council and he did not inform the authorities of his change in income.

Robertson, of Elm Gardens, WGC, appeared for sentence having earlier pleaded guilty to five sample counts of making false representations and two of failing to notify a change in circumstances.

Mr Munro told the court it took some time to prosecute Robertson.

He was first interviewed as long ago as August 2005, but was not summonsed to appear in court until June last year.

He said Robertson had already paid some of the money back from his benefits, but there was still more than £18,000 outstanding.

Carl Woolf, defending, said it would take Robertson and his wife seven years to repay the full amount. He said his wife was still working and had agreed to help.

Judge Martin Griffith told Robertson: "The courts take a serious view of these crimes because they are so easy to commit."

He passed a 15-month jail sentence, but suspended it for 18 months saying he was repaying the money and had the proceeding hanging over his head for the past two years.

Robertson must also pay £250 costs.

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