Woolpit man claimed £26k benefits while receiving rents from rooms

Mid Suffolk District Council Offices ENGANL00120131104102527
Mid Suffolk District Council Offices ENGANL00120131104102527
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A man who falsely claimed thousands of pounds in benefits while renting out rooms has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Phillip Hogg, 35, of Roman Fields, Woolpit, failed to tell officials that at the time he was claiming housing and council tax benefit he was renting out a property in Colchester.

On Monday Hogg appeared at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to dishonestly making false statements to Mid Suffolk District Council to obtain benefits between 2008 and 2012.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said Hogg was overpaid £26,211 after beginning his false claims when he moved in with his partner.

While his partner was entitled to housing and council tax benefit, Hogg was not. He began to claim them, telling the council he was receiving Jobseekers Allowance.

Investigators at Mid Suffolk District Council discovered Hogg had a property in Butt Road, Colchester, where he was renting out rooms. Miss Shirley said that was confirmed by payments made into Hogg’s bank account.

Hogg, who represented himself, told the court that the property in Colchester had belonged to his father and the income received from it had been used to pay running costs.

Judge David Goodin imposed eight-months prison suspended for two years and ordered Hogg to do 200 hours of unpaid community work.