When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Builder from Burnley made false benefit claims
7:00pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Burnley
A BUILDER got almost £14,000 in benefits he wasn’t entitled to by not declaring his full income, a court was told.
Rodney Capstick, 63, who was claiming pension credit, had told the Department for Work and Pensions he was working part-time, but investigations were carried out with a letting agency, where it was thought he was doing building work on various properties.
He was earning more than he was telling the department and had a business account.
Capstick, who has no previous convictions, had been convicted by Pennine magistrates, after a trial, of failing to promptly notify a change in circumstances, between December 2009 and June 2012.
The defendant, of Hufling Lane, Burnley, had been committed to the town’s crown court for sentence.
He was given a 12-month community order, with 80 hours unpaid work and a Proceeds of Crime Hearing will be held on December 16.
Amanda Johnson, prosecuting at the crown court, said the offence took place over two-and-a-half years and Capstick was overpaid a total of £13,920. The defendant, who was a self-employed builder, made a genuine claim for pension credit in November 2009, on the basis of business problems due to the economic climate.
He notified the DWP he had started work again, but part-time. The defendant provided information and there was then surveillance undertaken.
The investigation was in particular on a letting agency where it was thought he was carrying out building work on various properties.
Miss Johnson said having heard of that, the prosecution would say, Capstick called the benefits department, indicating he would close his claim to pension credit because his earnings had increased. The prosecutor said the defendant was receiving income in excess of that being declared and had a business account, which had not been notified to the DWP. In interview, he made no comment as he didn’t have a solicitor.
Capstick, who was not legally represented, said he did repairs for rental properties and worked for himself.
He told Judge Beverley Lunt: “I have made a mistake. I absolutely appreciate that. I want to apologise, to you, the court and the DWP. It was a serous mistake.”
Capstick added: “I have notified the DWP, but not notified in the right way. You definitely won’t be seeing me again.”