Benefit cheat awaits sentence

Two teenagers were approached by a man in a car who asked them to get in
Two teenagers were approached by a man in a car who asked them to get in

A man from Haverhill has been convicted of illegally claiming £80,000 in benefits.

Henry Stockings, 56, had denied three offences but was last Thursday unanimously

found guilty of all by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

During a four day trial the jury heard allegations that while Stockings was being paid income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit he was living at an address in Mallow Walk with the mother of his two children.

The prosecution said that Stockings had signed declarations to say that only he and his children were resident at the rented property.

Benefit investigators found that Stockings’ partner Frances Brewer was also living at the property, claimed prosecutor Laura Kenyon.

Stockings pleaded not guilty to failing to notify St Edmundsbury Borough Council of a change in circumstances that would affect his entitlement to council tax benefit between April 2003 and April 2012.

He also denied two offences of failing to make a similar notification to the Department of Work and Pensions between March 2002 and January 2009 and again between July 010 and July 2011.

The claims involved £45,200 in income support, £28,800 in housing benefit and £6,000 in council tax benefit.

The jury were given details of documentation including a joint tenancy agreement signed by Ms Brewer, the name appearing for that address on the electoral register and the mail

being sent there.

Giving evidence, Stockings denied having been untruthful when he complete claim forms for the three different benefits. He said that Ms Brewer had not lived with him for more than 15 years following the breakdown of their relationship.

After the jury returned guilty verdicts, Mr Recorder David Pugh told Stockings that he would be granted bail until he returns to court next month to be sentenced.