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Oxspring Man Charged With Benefit Fraud

Friday March 1 2013

AN OXSPRING man has pleaded guilty to benefit fraud, following an investigation by Barnsley Council.

Stephen Falkingham was convicted for failing to declare additional income to the council when he appeared before Barnsley Magistrates.

Mr Falkingham - previously investigated for benefit fraud offences - was again subject of an investigation, on this occasion for failing to declare additional income from an annuity whilst claiming both Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

The 53-year-old was interviewed under caution by investigation officers from Barnsley Council’s Benefit Fraud Team in November 2012. He obtained £2,570.47 in Housing Benefit and £799.07 in Council Tax Benefit for the period September 2009 to August 2012.

A financial penalty was considered but due to his current financial difficulties the court did not feel this appropriate. He was ordered to pay a contribution of £200 towards Barnsley Council’s court costs.

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Reply Posted by CS on Friday March 1 2013 at 09:06
wow, steal almost £3.5k and have to pay back £200? Nice incentive to others there

Reply Posted by George on Friday March 1 2013 at 09:27
If this is meant to warn people off from doing benefit fraud, then this is an Epic Fail!

Reply Posted by charles hemingway on Friday March 1 2013 at 09:29
wow this is better than working, he should have to pay it all back plus cost no matter what his financial difficulties are I,m sure they could recover this money from sales of his assets

Reply Posted by karl on Friday March 1 2013 at 12:48
why is it ppl who grow small amounts of canaibis go to jail yet stealing from the public purse seems to be acceptable these days it should be an automatic prison sentence for benifit fraud no matter how much is was who said crime dont pay ??????stev falkingham would definatly disagree

Reply Posted by Grim reaper on Friday March 1 2013 at 14:34
Yet the woman from Wombwell has to to do 100 hours and pay the money back. Whay isnt he paying the money back or doing unpaid work or something?

@ karl
Drug growers and dealers should go to prison. Scum.

Reply Posted by Aunt Hilder on Friday March 1 2013 at 17:02
Don't worry. The overpaid benefit will have to be paid back in full, even if it takes the rest of his life to recover it. It's just a shame that the council can't get their full costs back, only £200.

Reply Posted by Mick on Friday March 1 2013 at 17:52
Benefit fraud is virtually a 'no risk' activity. You would have to steal many many tens of thousands before a prison sentence was imposed without being suspended. The only penalty for being caught is to pay back the money (very slowly) and do a few hours community service which is less than the compulsory unpaid work jobseekers are being forced to do for weeks & months on end. Sad state of affairs.

Reply Posted by Katy on Sunday March 3 2013 at 08:17
The last comment is untrue..millions of £'s were paid back last year. In most cases it is paid back at a 1/3. Work it out.