Conditional discharge for dishonest claim

AN Ottery man has been given a conditional discharge for dishonestly claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).

Peter William Morris, 51, of Yonder Close, appeared at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. He faced claims that on September 28 and December 21, 2009, he failed to declare that he was working while claiming JSA, and that between August 31, 2009, and January 11, he failed to tell Exeter City Council that he was working, as it would affect his right to claim housing benefit.

When he first started claiming JSA, he was unemployed. But then, between August 2009 and May 2010, he worked for homebuilders Wayne Homes.

Morris told the court: “I knew it was wrong, but my parents are 85 and 82 and, when I started working, I needed the money to buy a car to visit them.”

Magistrates told him that by dishonestly signing on, he had been telling stories which defrauded the taxpayer.

He had pleaded guilty at the first instance, and had not been charged with fraud.

They gave him a two-year conditional discharge, so as long as he does not commit any further offence in that time, no further action will be taken. He was ordered to pay �100 costs.