Benefit cheats will be caught'
A BENEFIT cheat, who falsely
claimed £13, 833 in benefits from the Council and the Department for
Work and Pensions (DWP), has been sentenced to a 12 month
rehabilitation order and ordered to pay back the overpayment.
Christine Williams, 59, of Runcorn Road, Walton, Warrington, was
sentenced at Warrington Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 28 February
06, after pleading guilty to failing to notify a change in
Between October 2002 and August 2005 Williams defrauded the Council
of £3,621.22 Council Tax and the DWP of £10,212.40 Income Support.
Williams was also ordered to pay £75 costs.
Adrian Webster, the Council's Benefits Manager, said:- "Benefit
cheats must realise that they cannot abuse the benefit system and
steal from the rest of society. They are not just defrauding the
government, but their own tax paying neighbours and communities in
Fraud is theft and this case is a clear demonstration of our
determination to tackle benefit fraud. We are introducing new
methods of data matching... the message now is benefit cheats will
be caught - and we are reducing the amount of money lost through
fraud and abuse."
Fraud Operations Manager for the DWP Roy Paul added:- "The
public is fed up with cheats who steal money from the taxpayer when
it should go to those in genuine need of help."
People in Warrington can give information about alleged fraudsters
free and in confidence on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800
Officers in for questioning
TOP police officers from
Liverpool had a grilling by dozens of schoolchildren! Yes, they were
in for "Questioning". About 30 youngsters quizzed Inspector
Jerry Harris about policing matters and force policy, as well as
giving their own views on tackling crime, at an event in Anfield
Comprehensive School, Liverpool on Tuesday 7 March 06. The
youngsters, who were all part of the Schools Council in Learning
Network and were aged between six and 14. All of them were from nine
primary and secondary schools in the north Liverpool area.
Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services,
said:- "Children and teenagers are affected by crime and anti
social behaviour more than adults. It's important that youngsters
have the opportunity to put forward their views and concerns. They
can also ask the experts to answer any questions they may have. I am
delighted that Merseyside Police are taking the views of young
Mayor charged with
four counts of benefit fraud
SEFTON Cllr John Walker, who is
the representative for Manor Ward and has been the Mayor of Sefton
since April 2005, now looks as if he could soon lose the position of
Mayor before the end of his term in office. This is because he has
been charged with benefit fraud. The Labour councillor John Walker,
55, from Orrell, Bootle, was arrested on Monday 6 February 06 and
questioned by officers from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
The father of one, who is well known for taking his teenaged
daughter to official Mayoral functions, denies any wrongdoing. He
was re-questioned by DWP officials on Tuesday 9 March 06. On
Wednesday 10 March 06, the department said he had been charged with
four counts of benefit fraud and is due to appear before Sefton
magistrates today, Monday 13 March 06. A Sefton Council spokesman
said:- "We are aware of the situation involving Councillor
Walker. However, we need to emphasise that none of the allegations
are connected in any way to his role either as mayor or as a member
of the council."
IAN David Redmond of Chetwood
Avenue, Crosby, aged 40, was jailed this week for tax evasion
related to 2.4 million smuggled cigarettes.
Ian Redmond had been found by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers,
repackaging the cigarettes at warehouse premises in Liverpool back
in December 2003. The consignment was found to contain 200 smuggled
cigarettes, concealed in hollow plastic tubes labelled as industrial
HMRC officers noticed that some cigarettes had already been removed
and placed in cardboard boxes in preparation for onward deliveries.
Redmond was discovered removing cigarettes and repackaging them as
the officers entered.
At Preston Crown Court, Redmond pleaded guilty in January 06 to the
fraudulent evasion of excise duty totalling approximately £370,000
and on Monday 27 February he was jailed for 21 months. He now faces
a confiscation hearing in the future.
HMRC Head of Investigations NW, Peter Hollier said:- "We have
officers dedicated to tackling the problem of counterfeit and
smuggled cigarettes in towns and cities across the UK and although
we have had a lot of success in the north west area we will continue
to bear down on those determined to dupe the public for profit.
Smokers who think, wrongly, they are getting a bargain don't realise
that this trade damages honest businesses, costs billions in lost
revenue and lines the pockets of criminals instead of funding public
services. I urge members of the public, newsagents or off license
trade that if you know of any suspicious activities that may be
linked to tobacco smuggling call our 24-hour hotline 0800 59 5000."