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Former Dereham cleaner admits £2,000 false benefits claim

PUBLISHED: 16:34 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:05 07 July 2010

Richard Parr

A government minister today pledged that benefit thieves will be caught after a former Dereham cleaner admitted falsely claiming more than £2,000.

Anti-fraud Minister Tony McNulty said that last year benefit thieves stole around £800m - money that could have been spent on schools and hospitals.

A government minister today pledged that benefit thieves will be caught after a former Dereham cleaner admitted falsely claiming more than £2,000.

Anti-fraud Minister Tony McNulty said that last year benefit thieves stole around £800m - money that could have been spent on schools and hospitals.

“Benefit thieves take money intended for the most vulnerable in our society. Quite rightly the public get angry about such anti-social behaviour and with their support we are closing in on these thieves,” he said.

On Monday Nicholas Robinson, a 22-year-old former cleaner at Dereham Football Club, appeared before Norwich magistrates and admitted five charges involving failure to promptly notify a change in circumstances.

The court heard that Robinson, of Amsterdam Way, Dereham, was claiming Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit despite working as a cleaner at Dereham FC between November 2006 and May 2007.

Magistrates were told a data match by the Department of Work and Pensions showed that he was in receipt of earnings.

He was given a conditional discharge for two years and was ordered to repay more than £2,000 he had falsely claimed. He also has to pay £100 court costs.

After the case, manager of the Dereham FC club premises at Aldiss Park, Ginny Barnes, said that staff co-operated fully with the Department of Work and Pensions in their investigations. She said that Robinson had previously been sacked from his cleaning job because of his unreliability.

Anyone who suspects someone is committing benefit theft can call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.

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