Man swindled £5k benefits

A MAN swindled almost £5,000 out of the unemployment benefits system – while his wife held down four part-time jobs.

Samuel Bean claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance for himself and his wife, Tracy, because he was unfit to work.

The 30-year-old told the DWP he and his wife weren’t working when the family first claimed the benefit in February 2006.

But it emerged that Mrs Bean had four different jobs over a period of almost three years while benefits were still being picked up.

This had a direct impact on the amount of benefit paid to the family, Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Moreland, prosecuting on behalf of the DWP, said: “The defendant’s wife had four different jobs.

“Initially as a customer services assistant with Wilkinson, then as a catering assistant at a primary school, as a supply catering assistant at the same school and as a catering assistant with another employer at a primary school.

“None of the four employments were ever declared.”

The court heard Bean, of Blackhills Terrace, Horden, was interviewed under caution and admitted the offences.

“He said he knew his wife was working,” said Mr Moreland.

“He accepts he had the opportunity to tell the Department of Work and Pensions about the jobs, but chose not to do so.

“This was a loss to the public purse of £4,962.13.”

Bean, who has no previous convictions, admitted three counts of dishonestly obtaining money by deception from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions between May 23, 2006, and August 31, 2006, between September 1, 2006, and March 8, 2007, and between May 11, 2007, and March 12, 2009.

Sam Brewster, mitigating, said family disapproval at his relationship with Mrs Bean and a lack of work in the North-East after moving to his wife’s native Horden from Milton Keynes, where they met, had led to the onslaught of severe depression for Bean at the initial time of the claim.

He said all of Mrs Bean’s jobs had been part-time, and were only for one or two hours a day, but accepted they should have been declared.

Mr Brewster said Mrs Bean had filled in the declaration forms while her husband had been ill in bed.

He added Bean was now turning his life around and was working as a self-employed courier.

Magistrates fined Bean £255 and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £150 costs.