Judges gavel

A benefit cheat from Billericay who falsely claimed almost £10,000 in Housing and Council Tax benefits pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court.

Dean Dickens, 36, of Lorrimore Close, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to benefits between January 1 2010 and October 24, 2013.

Mr Dickens, who appeared in Court on Thursday 21 August, was given a 12 month Community Order with a requirement that he undertakes 60 hours unpaid work as well as every penny he fraudulently claimed.

Over payments to Mr Dickens totalled £9,261.54 including Housing Benefit overpayments of £6,796.39 and Council Tax benefits of £2,465.15 from January 1 2010 and October 24, 2013.

The overpayments arose as Mr Dickens had failed to declare funds in his bank account of more than £18,000.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Councillor Stuart Sullivan, cabinet member for resources"]Although on this occasion the defendant pleaded guilty it does not detract from the fact he was falsely claiming from the public purse. Benefit fraud is against the law and cheats will be forced to face the consequences.[/quote]

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