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Man jailed for benefit fraud

Wed, 17 Dec 2014

A Douglas man has been sent to prison after wrongly claiming over £34,000 in benefits he wasn't entitled to.

28-year-old Stephen Smith was handed an eight month custodial sentence at Douglas Courthouse yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges of falsely obtaining benefits between November 2012 and June of this year.

Smith was in continuous receipt of Jobseekers Allowance - despite being in full time employment - and at no time alerted anyone his circumstances had changed.

He also changed both his name and address to continue claiming.

Representing him his advocate said he had made the conscious decision to claim money even when he knew he wasn't entitled - but said he was making efforts to repay it.

Sentencing him Deputy High Bailiff Jayne Hughes said it wasn't a simple oversight and although she recognised he was paying it back, it would take him over 40 years.

She said at a time when the Island was experiencing "financial crisis" a theft of this magnitude meant the money couldn't now be used for more worthy causes.

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