Carmarthenshire benefit cheat's jail sentence is suspended
A CROSS Hands man who claimed more than £27,000 in benefits and income support has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Edward John Dobbins, of Pontarddulais Road, claimed the funds without declaring his wife's pension, Llanelli Magistrates' Court heard.
Dobbins pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining money transfers by deception from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to the value of £27,779.07 between April 30, 2004 and September 11, 2008 at Llanelli Magistrates's Court on Thursday, September 5.
Dobbins had not declared his wife was on an NHS pension.
The 64-year-old also admitted to dishonestly making a false statement to obtain income support and failed to declare his wife's pension between May 21, 2002 and April 29, 2004.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud on August 7, 2008, to gain pension credit by making a false representation that he had no other income and not stating his wife's pension.
Yesterday, the court heard that the fraudulent claims started because of an oversight made by Dobbins.
The incorrect claims came to light after Carmarthenshire Council alleged Dobbins's income was incorrect and that the NHS pension his wife had, had not been told to the DWP.
Sian Vaughan, prosecuting, said: "In interview he said initially it was an oversight that he should have resolved, but as time went on he was too scared to do that."
David Elvy, mitigating, said: "He has a wife at home who depends upon him for care."
Deputy District Judge Neil Thomas said Dobbins could have faced a prison sentence because of the value and length of time of the crime.
He said: "The case is serious enough for a custodial sentence but I have taken into account your age and the fact that you have no previous convictions."
Dobbins was given three concurrent 12-week prison sentences which were suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £100.