Bideford man claimed benefits but had £32,000 in savings
A 60-YEAR-OLD, who lives with his mother, claimed nearly £10,000 in Jobseeker's Allowance benefit while having £32,000 in savings.
Stephen Castle, of 50, Lane Field Road, Bideford, appeared before North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday where he pleaded guilty to the charge of falsely making a statement to claim benefits.
Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, said on his initial application form Castle had claimed he had £10,000 in savings but in fact he had more than £30,000.
The false application was made in 2008 and in total Castle received £9,948.87 in benefits he was not entitled to.
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Mr Winzer confirmed Castle has now repaid the amount in full.
Tony Dart, for the defence, said: "My client had been working most of his life and in 2000 he moved to North Devon to look after his mother.
"While he was trying to find work he applied for Jobseeker's Allowance.
"When he was working he had set up a pension but it matured early and so he kept it for when he is 65, which is the money he didn't think he had to declare on the benefit claim.
"He genuinely made a mistake with the application and there was nothing fraudulent about the claim."
Magistrates fined Castle £265 and told him to pay courts costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.