Pensioner’s £9,000 ‘dishonest’ claim

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News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian,, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

A pensioner claimed more than £9,000 in benefits he wasn’t entitled to when he failed to declare earnings from his job.

Victor Lilburn (71), of Cranmore Lane, Holbeach, was earning between £288.81 and £412 per week with Philip G Wright Excavations Ltd while claiming pension credits.

Priya Bakshi, prosecuting, said Lilburn claimed the benefit between November 2007 and March 2013.

He was interviewed on May 7 last year when he admitted not declaring earnings from his job.

Miss Bakshi said Lilburn was overpaid a total of £9,184.50 but is repaying that to the Department for Work and Pensions at £37 a week by way of deductions from his retirement pension.

Lilburn pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly making a false statement to obtain benefit by not providing information that he was working.

Magistrates sitting at Boston on Thursday adjourned the case to February 13 for a pre-sentence report and gave Lilburn unconditional bail.

Solicitor Andrew Goldsborough, mitigating, said: “He is a 71-year-old man who has never been before the court previously and I would submit he is highly unlikely to come back through these court doors – or any other court doors.”

He said someone had advised Lilburn that if he received a pension he would be entitled to pension credit.

Mr Goldsborough said as that year progressed, Lilburn’s son was knocked over and received some horrific injuries and remains in full-time care in a home in Northampton.

He said Lilburn’s wife then developed bowel cancer, passing away in 2008.

Mr Goldsborough said because he was on his own, Lilburn decided to remain in work because “he wanted some interaction with other people”.

He said the claim was fraudulent from the outset “because he was clearly working at the time of the initial claim”.

The solicitor urged magistrates to deal with the case by imposing a lengthy conditional discharge.