£6k benefit cheat failed to say that he had got a job
BENEFIT cheat Anthony Cummins claimed more than £6,700 he was not entitled to because he was working.
North Staffordshire magistrates yesterday heard Cummins and his wife legitimately claimed housing and council tax benefit.
But he failed to inform Staffordshire Moorlands District Council when he started work in 2010.
And in a separate matter the 45-year-old racially harassed a civil enforcement officer handing out parking tickets in Leek.
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Debbie Leadbeater, prosecuting the benefits offences, said: "He and his wife claimed housing tax benefit and council tax benefit. He was selected for a review in January. He explained he had found work. They made more investigations about this and it turned out he started work in March 2010 so he had not notified a change of circumstances."
The court heard Cummins was overpaid a total of £6,793 – £5,424 housing benefit and £1,369 council tax benefit.
The court was told Cummins has agreed to repay the cash.
The court heard on April 10 Cummins subjected Natalia Petrosidou to racially aggravated abuse.
Prosecutor Steve Knowles said Miss Petrosidou, a civil enforcement officer for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, was on duty in Market Place, Leek, at about 4pm when she was approached by Cummins.
"She had issued six tickets in that vicinity and was in the process of issuing a seventh," said Mr Knowles.
"Eventually seven people were shouting at her. Cummins was identified as one. He stepped forward and got very personal. He was so close she could feel his saliva when he was shouting. He was pointing aggressively, almost touching her nose.
"He called her a Russian and said, 'Go back to your own country'. She asked him to stop and said she would call the police. He said he could not care."
Cummins, of Tatton Close, Leek, pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting benefits between March 2010 and March 2012 and racially aggravated harassment.
Representing himself, Cummins said he did not know he was being overpaid benefits.
"The wife sorted that out," he said. "She got the cheques through the post and put them in the account. I did not know what we were getting."
Magistrates sentenced Cummins to a 12-month community order with supervision, a requirement to attend 60 sessions of the general offender workbook and 150 hours unpaid work. He must also pay £450 costs, a £60 victim surcharge and £50 compensation to Miss Petrosidou.