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£37,000 benefits cheat John Kelly from Watford avoids jail
A Watford man, who admitted falsely claiming more than £37,000 in benefits, has avoided jail due to his poor health.
John Kelly was investigated by Watford Borough Council after it received an allegation he was sub-letting his property.
Officials found he had been living with an undeclared partner and also for a time in Ireland, since 2008, leading to him falsely receive thousands of pounds in housing and Council Tax Benefit as well as Jobseeker's Allowance.
The 50-year-old, of Milton Street, admitted a number of charges at St Albans Crown Court on July 22 after initially electing for to face trial.
On August 14 he was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court to six months imprisonment for each of the six counts charged, to run concurrently, and was ordered to repay the money.
However the sentence was suspended for two years due to his poor health.
Following the sentencing, Councillor Mark Watkin, the Watford Council cabinet member with responsibility for benefit fraud, said: "Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and we will not hesitate in using the full range of legal options available to us if we suspect a resident is falsely claiming benefits.
"Remember if you are receiving benefits yourself it is your responsibility to notify the council immediately of any change in your circumstances that may affect your entitlement to benefit."
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