Chichester benefits cheat must pay back £16,000 after con

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A BENEFITS cheat must pay £16,000 in compensation after illegally claiming a range of benefits.

Philip Venables, 64, of South Lodge, Goodwood, Chichester, claimed jobseekers allowance, pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

But he failed to declare that his wife owned a property in France.

Due to the value of the property, Venables was not entitled to benefits.

Worthing Magistrates Court heard he was overpaid benefits totalling £13,902.16.

Venables was ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work over a 12-month period. He was also ordered to pay Chichester District Council compensation of £6,000 and the Department for Work and Pensions £10,000.

Cllr Janet Duncton, who is in charge of housing at Chichester District Council, said: ‘Benefit fraud is a very serious crime.’