A lorry driver involved in benefit fraud to the tune of £62,000 has been sentenced for a year in the jail.
Steven John Wiseman had been cheating the taxpayer for eight years and had admitted that he had been claiming the cash over a significant period of time while he had been working for a catering company.
The 45-year-old, of Primrose Road, Swaythling, Southampton, had initially claimed payments to look after his 16- year-old daughter and to look after his mother who had been injured in a road accident. But he failed to inform the authorities that he had been working at Just Rolls in Shirley since 2004 despite claiming more than £5,000 in carer’s allowance.
After taking up the job in the normal circumstances he was required to declare his newly acquired status but he did not do so the prosecutor Rob Welling told the court.
In August 2009, Wiseman was asked if he was working. But he denied, Mr Welling added. He also claimed more than £36,000 on income support, more than £19,400 for housing support and more than £5,000 for council tax.
Wiseman had appeared at Southampton Crown Court and admitted three charges of benefit fraud. He was given a total of 12 months in jail to run concurrently and ordered to repay the £62,000.
Defending Wiseman, the benefit fraud solicitor told the court that Wiseman had been claiming while he was looking after his daughter and his mother.
The solicitor said that Wiseman had failed to alert the council that he was claiming all this money and when the opportunity came to do so he did not.
It would mean admitting to them he had been claiming money to which he was not entitled to. He was in a hole which was getting deeper and deeper, benefit fraud lawyer said.
He added that the lifestyle that he had been leading was not of those “affluent benefit families” and that he was still caring for his mother and his daughter.