Prison for benefit fraud
A Titahi Bay man has been sentenced to 15 months’ prison for receiving a sole parent benefit worth $79,989 while in a relationship.
Riki Kyle Love, 33, had received the Domestic Purposes Benefit since 2007, claiming he lived with his parents and was raising his 10- year- old son alone, Porirua District Court heard last Tuesday.
In fact, he lived with his partner, who thought he was on the sickness benefit, his lawyer Anna Gillon said.
In November 2012 Love was questioned by Work and Income staff and admitted the fraud.
He was convicted last Tuesday on one count of obtaining by deception, and six counts of falsely using a document, charges which carried a maximum seven-year jail term.
Ms Gillon said Love had good character and contributed to the community by coaching children’s sport.
Letters of support for Love were provided by his employer, Countdown Tawa, and his doctor, who said he suffered from depression.
Judge Jan Kelly said Love’s crime was premeditated, longterm and abused taxpayers’ trust.
‘‘This type of offending is easy to accomplish and can continue for a long period before it is discovered,’’ she said.
‘‘The community assists those less fortunate through public funds and the expectation is that the recipient will be honest and that trust will be honoured.’’
Judge Kelly reduced Love’s original 22-month sentence by two months for good character, and a further five months for his early guilty plea. Love will be eligible for community detention.
He was also given 120 hours’ community work, ‘‘so you can give something back to the community’’, Judge Kelly told him.