AN ex miner has been convicted of benefit fraud because of an undisclosed five-figure compensation payout he received after suffering work-induced injuries.
Anthony Marsden admitted failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of the payout, which affected his entitlement to income support.
But St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard that if the 54-year-old had put his £14,000 compensation in a personal injury trust, it would NOT have affected his entitlement to state benefits.
Marsden pleaded guilty to receiving an overpayment of more than £8,000 in income support between New Year’s Day 2005 and October 2011.
In interview, he admitted that, by not declaring the capital, he had acted dishonestly.
But Chris Maloney, defending, blamed his client’s conviction on poor financial advice, claiming he was “perhaps a victim of our less than perfect banking institution”.
He told how Marsden had been advised to place the payout in savings accounts and fixed term bonds, when, in fact, he should have put it in a personal injury trust.
Mr Maloney added that his client, of Sherdley Road, acted as a full-time carer for his 78-year-old mother and “could barely live a more modest lifestyle”.
Magistrates fined Marsden £500 and ordered him to pay £100 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The defendant indicated his intention to pay the court debt off in full within 28 days.