Law catches up with West Sussex benefits cheat again

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NEARLY £2,000 of falsely claimed benefits has landed a fraudster in court.

Trevor Lightburn, 57, of Bosham Lane, Bosham, claimed housing and council tax benefit for five months – even though he was working.

Despite pleading his innocence, a jury at Worthing Crown Court found him guilty of two charges of failing to notify Chichester District Council of a change in his circumstances.

It’s the second time the benefits cheat has been caught out for deception.

Lightburn was convicted of benefit fraud in September 2009 when he falsely claimed more than £10,000 in housing and council tax benefit from the same council.

He has now been ordered to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work and to pay £250 towards costs for the £1,915.32 fraud.

Councillor Tricia Tull, who is in charge of finance at the council, said: ‘This case highlights the fact that theft from the public purse – money belonging to the community – will not be tolerated.

‘The benefits system is there to help those most in need, not those who want to abuse it by claiming money they are not entitled to.

‘I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to let us know if there is any change in their circumstances so our officers can check to see if it may affect their benefit entitlement.

‘People often remember to do so if their circumstances change for the worse but if they improve they need to tell us as well.’