Man given un­paid work af­ter £10,000 ben­e­fits scam

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JAMES WYL­LIE

A north-east man has been or­dered to carry out un­paid work af­ter scam­ming al­most £10,000 from the pub­lic purse.

In two years, David Bruce, 52, claimed thou­sands of pounds in un­em­ploy­ment and hous­ing ben­e­fits to which he was not en­ti­tled.

He ap­peared at Aberdeen Sher­iff Court yes­ter­day for sen­tenc­ing af­ter pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ting the of­fence.

So­lic­i­tor Charles Ben­zies said his client’s life had been on a “down­ward spi­ral” which re­sulted in him rack­ing up debts.

Be­tween De­cem­ber 2016 and Jan­uary 2018, Bruce fraud­u­lently claimed more than £4,100 in Job­seeker’s Al­lowance from the De­part­ment for Work and Pen­sions, and al­most £5,800 in hous­ing ben­e­fits from Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil.

He is out of work, and has be­gun pay­ing back the sums via “modest” con­tri­bu­tions from his ben­e­fits.

Sher­iff Ian Duguid said: “These are ob­vi­ously very se­ri­ous mat­ters be­cause you have ob­tained ben­e­fits to the ex­tent of £9,800 to which you weren’t en­ti­tled .

“You ac­cept your fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances have changed and you are sub­ject to a modest de­duc­tion to re­pay that.

“My op­tions are send­ing you to jail or giv­ing you a com­mu­nity pay­back or­der.”

Bruce, of Kings­field Road, Kin­tore, was or­dered to do 60 hours of un­paid work in the next year.

He will also be un­der the su­per­vi­sion of so­cial work­ers for that time.

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