Date: 17/11/2008 Category: Finance
Correction: A man who falsely claimed £6,636 in benefits received a compensation order of £5,000 and not a fine of that amount, Medway Council has confirmed. Christopher Draper, 58, of Avery Way, Allhallows, was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay the compensation order within six months by Maidstone Crown Court in October. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and will have to repay the £6,636. Draper had pleaded guilty to one count of failing to notify the council of his change in circumstances having previously claimed incapacity benefit between October 2005 and April 2007. He had told officers at Medway Council that he was unable to work, but had failed to declare he is the owner of Medway Microlights in Burrows Lane, Middle Stoke. The council sent out a press release that incorrectly referred to the £5,000 as a fine. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance Cllr Alan Jarrett said at the time that the prosecution “sent a clear message to everyone that Medway Council will not tolerate benefit fraud of any kind.” The conditional discharge means the court will take the offence into account if Draper is brought before them again within the two-year period. The offence carries a prison term of up to three months.