Nelson carer wrongly gets £6,000 in benefits

The defendant admitted making a false statement to obtain a benefit.
The defendant admitted making a false statement to obtain a benefit.
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A carer got almost £6,000 in benefits he was not entitled to after receiving a £31,000 inheritance, a court was told.

Michael Davies (59) was claiming income support when he was looking after his friend David Stott, who he lived with. The cheque for the £31,000 was paid into Mr Stott's account, but meant Davies had more than the allowed amount of capital, Burnley magistrates heard.

The defendant, who has learning difficulties, fought back tears as the hearing was told he had not been sleeping due to worry over the case. He had no previous convictions.

Davies, of Garden Street in Nelson, admitted making a false statement to obtain a benefit. He was given an 18-month conditional discharge by the Bench, who said they accepted there was a lack of intent and that he had filled in the form to the best of his ability. The defendant must pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, told the court Davies had been claiming income support from 2013 up until the end of last year.

She continued: "He had several joint accounts with Mr Stott. The defendant disclosed all accounts and finances back in 2013. The problem is down to an inheritance, which was actually paid into Mr Stott's account. It seems it took the capital the defendant had access to over the allowed amount.

"We are certainly not saying it was done deliberately," she added. "The money will be recovered."

Mr John Rusius, defending, said Davies had worked all his life, but he gave up to look after his friend after his friend became ill. He had learning difficulties and really relied on his friend to do all the paperwork. His friend had, sadly, died.

The solicitor continued: "He is now paying the money back at so much a week. It's a shame really that this gentlemen ends up with a criminal conviction and that upsets him more than anything else. He hasn't been sleeping and has been very worried about coming to court."