Skegness man fined after working while on benefits

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A 47-year-old old man has admitted failing to tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that he had undertaken work whilst claiming benefits.

Stephen Mcaulay of Pine Tree Leisure Park, Skegness admitted four charges of making false statements to obtain benefits between May 2010 and September 2011, when he appeared before magistrates at Skegness.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said Mcaulay had been claiming benefits as unfit to work due to ill health since March 11 2010 but the DWP discovered he had been working on various occasions as a bartender during that time but had continued to sign that neither he nor his wife was working.

When he was interviewed he said he had only done voluntary work as a bingo caller for charity but that his wife had worked, not for money but to pay off a debt to the site owner on their caravan.

However, the site owner confirmed that Mr Mcaulay had worked himself in the bar at the site.

Mr Wood said the total amount overpaid was £4,402.

Mitigating for Mcaulay, Dave Clapham said he did received benefits legitimately but was required to declare any employment earnings.

He said Mcaulay had had his house repossessed and had also lost a caravan he owned but had been allowed to live in a static caravan on the site in return for some bar work during the season.

“This was only one claim but with four periods when he did some work which he should have reported,” he told the magistrates.

He told the court the money owed was being repaid from his benefits.

The magistrates fined Mcaulay £300 and ordered him to pay £100 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge. He was given 28 days to pay.