October 21, 2020

UK: Man claimed £30k in benefits while sunning himself in the Caribbean for TWO YEARS


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benefits-621537By Felipe Araujo From Express UK

A man who claimed nearly £30,000 in benefits while sunning himself on the tropical beaches of has avoided jail.

was ordered to pay back the £28,136 worth of benefits he claimed between 2012 and 2014
Geoffrey Thorpe jetted off to the island – where the average year-round temperature is 26C – in October 2012 to marry a local woman. Bromley Magistrates Court heard how the 60-year-old had met his partner on an online dating website and that she came to live with him in Westerham, Kent, in 2011.

She was, however, deported back to Barbados not long after arriving when she failed immigration requirements.

Thorpe decided to join his partner in the Caribbean in October 2012, where the couple got married.

‘Psychic’ benefit cheats told to sell house to repay swindled £180k
The court heard how he stayed in Barbados for just over two years, but still claimed a string of benefits, including income support, housing benefit and council tax support.

JPs heard how Thorpe, of the aptly-named Sunningvale Avenue in Westerham, Kent, claimed a total of £28,136 from October 2012 to the end of 2014 without declaring that he had moved to Barbados.

benefits-397002During the time he was away, Thorpe also rented out his council home and pocketed the cash. Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of knowingly failing to notify a change in his circumstances affecting his benefits claims.

Mr Thorpe was given a £600 fine and a 12-month suspended sentence
In a judgement just revealed by council chiefs, Thorpe was jailed for eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, and put on a curfew and tagged for two months between 8pm and 7am, on November 5.

He was also ordered to pay £600 in fines and told he would have to pay all the banefits he illegally claimed. Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee, said today: “The sentence imposed in this case is welcomed and will send a clear message to other fraudsters that will find and prosecute them. “Bromley Council does not tolerate any fraud and we will ensure that public funds are only meant for the needy of this borough.

Island of Barbados (left) job centre GETTY
Exterior of Bromley magistrate court PA
For more on this story go to: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/621537/Man-claimed-30k-in-benefits-while-sunning-himself-in-the-Caribbean-for-TWO-YEARS

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