Kessingland benefits cheat given suspended jail sentence

A 79-YEAR-OLD benefits cheat who was overpaid more than �34,000 has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

Roy Mikel received the over-payments during a 10-year period after failing to notify the authorities that his wife had a job, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday.

Mikel, of Lincoln Court, Kessingland, admitted six offences of false representation and was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 weeks.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Fenn said Mikel had started claiming income support legitimately in 1994 but between 1999 and 2010 he had misled the authorities by declaring on a number of forms that his wife was not working.

'If the true position had been known �34,000 which has been paid to you wouldn't have been paid,' the judge said.

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Joanne Eley, for Mikel, said at the time of the offences he and his wife had been living under the same roof but had been living separate lives.

It was claimed Mikel had not benefited from the money his wife was earning and therefore decided not to declare it.

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Miss Eley said her client was deeply apologetic and embarrassed about what he had done and was repaying the money at the rate of �180 a month.

The court was told that Mikel and his wife had managed to work out the difficulties in their marriage and she attended court with him.

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