A PENSIONER has avoided jail after falsely claiming more than £15,000 in benefits.
70-year-old David Graham Davies, of Maeshafren, Caersws, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Powys County Council (PCC) of an increase in capital and household income.
At Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday he was given a 12 week custodial sentence, suspended for six months.
Helen Tench, prosecuting, said Davies claimed £15,274.49 on grounds of being unemployed.
She said he had been working as a car salesman and when interviewed he said he thought it was private and apologised if he did wrong.
The offences were committed between March 7, 2011, to October 1, 2015, Mrs Tench told the court.
Paul Inns, for Davies, said: “This was not a fraudulent claim from the outset. The original claim was proper and made when Davies became unemployed.”
He said Davies’ business as a car dealer was coming to an end and it was a valid claim, but he failed to disclose a pension annuity.
Mr Inns added: “When he was re-assessed it turns out for some reason he was entitled to more money. He was entitled to a different form of pension for his disability.”
He also noted that Davies had given a guilty plea at the first opportunity.
Mr Inns said the claims were being repaid, £12 per week to the department of work and pension, £54 per month to PCC for housing benefit and £25 per month to PCC for council tax.
Julian Davies, for the probation service, said that 12 months before Davies retired he was living in a large house he could not afford.
He had then got in touch with the benefit agency.
He added Davies accepted there may have been some wrong doings on his behalf but mainly due to misunderstandings by himself.
Mr Inns added a curfew would cause Davies personal difficulties as a close family member suffered from cancer and he visited them regularly.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.