A FATHER of three received a year s prison sentence, suspended for two years, after cheating the benefits system out of £11,000. Scott Du-Cane Chamberlain, 30, of Lavender Court, Huntingdon, was found guilty of three charges of dishonestly obtaining housi
A FATHER of three received a year's prison sentence, suspended for two years, after cheating the benefits system out of £11,000.
Scott Du-Cane Chamberlain, 30, of Lavender Court, Huntingdon, was found guilty of three charges of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit and Council Tax benefit. The sum he received totalled more than £11,000.
Two offences were in 2002 and one was in 2003.
The court heard that Mr Chamberlain had failed to declare that he was part owner, with his brother, of a property.
However, in mitigation, his solicitor, Elaine Havord, said that both Chamberlain and his brother had "walked away" from the property. Their father had taken over the mortgage, the maintenance and repairs and he derived no benefit from it.
Mrs Havord added that Chamberlain was on benefit for illness. He was unable to work and had three small children, aged six, two and six months. The family were currently living in a rented property too small for them and they were struggling on Chamberlain's incapacity benefit to keep a roof over their heads. Because of the disqualification linked to the first property, they now received no help towards Council Tax or housing benefit.
Chamberlain was told by magistrates that his offence was so serious that it merited a custodial sentence as it had been carried out over an extended period and involved a large sum of money.
However, because of his previous good character and that there was no evidence that he spent his money on luxury goods, the sentence was suspended for two years. He received three six months sentences, two to run concurrently and one to run consecutively. No costs were awarded against him.