Kings Langley £4m lottery winner 'continued to claim benefits'

A £4m lottery winner from Kings Langley has appeared in court accused of continuing to claim benefits after his windfall.

Edward Putman, 46, is charged with continuing to claim income support and housing benefit for 20 months after winning the money in 2009.

Appearing at St Albans Magistrates Court on Tuesday (June 13), Putman spoke only to confirm his name and address although solicitor John Marchant indicated his client intended to plead guilty to the two charges of dishonestly failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances.

The hearing was adjourned for three weeks to allow prosecutors to calculate the exact amount claimed although it is understood to be in the region of £15,000.

Mr Marchant added: "There will be guilty pleas on this matter but in current circumstances the charge sheet does not show the exact amount.

"The exact fine is important because my client is intent the full amount will be repaid prior to sentence."

Putman, of Station Road, Kings Langley, was released on unconditional bail and ordered to return to the court on July 3.

Comments (12)

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11:37am Wed 13 Jun 12

TRT says...

How does society tackle this engrained mindset of entitlement?
How does society tackle this engrained mindset of entitlement? TRT

11:46am Wed 13 Jun 12

Reg Edit says...

Stupidity mixed with greed. At least they'll be able to get the money back I suppose.
Stupidity mixed with greed. At least they'll be able to get the money back I suppose. Reg Edit

1:17pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Hornets number 12 fan says...

It's people like this that give everyone on benefits a bad name! MUPPET!
It's people like this that give everyone on benefits a bad name! MUPPET! Hornets number 12 fan

2:21pm Wed 13 Jun 12

garston tony says...

I think in the circumstances as well as paying back the 'overpayment' and costs a prison sentence would be appropriate.

What was this guy thinking!?!?
I think in the circumstances as well as paying back the 'overpayment' and costs a prison sentence would be appropriate. What was this guy thinking!?!? garston tony

5:13pm Wed 13 Jun 12

gangerman says...

Not as though he was in dire straights, money for nothing- clink for free.
Not as though he was in dire straights, money for nothing- clink for free. gangerman

6:46pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Mike Ribble says...

The problem here is that we do not know the circumstances. So suggesting a level of punishment is premature.
The case might become clearer on a future court appearance (perhaps July 3) but you'd have to be there because the WO rarely has space for a detailed report. Even then not all the details of all the information the judge has are made fully public.
And even if you had the full information how do you go about balancing punishment versus public interest and take account of any mitigation advanced?
It is a very complicated business and that's why we employ experienced professionals to do it.
The problem here is that we do not know the circumstances. So suggesting a level of punishment is premature. The case might become clearer on a future court appearance (perhaps July 3) but you'd have to be there because the WO rarely has space for a detailed report. Even then not all the details of all the information the judge has are made fully public. And even if you had the full information how do you go about balancing punishment versus public interest and take account of any mitigation advanced? It is a very complicated business and that's why we employ experienced professionals to do it. Mike Ribble

9:13am Thu 14 Jun 12

garston tony says...

Mike I know where you're coming from but I cant think of any mitigating circumstances here.

Sure in all the excitment you might have overlooked this for a few weeks but 20 months its a conscious decision to defraud. He cant plead hardship exactly can he and the crime is all the more despicable for the fact he is a multimillionaire!

To claim income support dont you actually have to go sign on etc? This was a pro active effort.
Mike I know where you're coming from but I cant think of any mitigating circumstances here. Sure in all the excitment you might have overlooked this for a few weeks but 20 months its a conscious decision to defraud. He cant plead hardship exactly can he and the crime is all the more despicable for the fact he is a multimillionaire! To claim income support dont you actually have to go sign on etc? This was a pro active effort. garston tony

9:57am Thu 14 Jun 12

Mike Ribble says...

Well Tony what would you say it if was revealed that the man had had suffered physical trauma necessitating heroic surgery leaving him with serious mental illness and loss of faculty? Or how about a series of personal tragedies, loss and bereavements?
Of course there may be no mitigating circumstances but the point is we don't know and therefore it's a bit early to be saying prison is warranted.
Well Tony what would you say it if was revealed that the man had had suffered physical trauma necessitating heroic surgery leaving him with serious mental illness and loss of faculty? Or how about a series of personal tragedies, loss and bereavements? Of course there may be no mitigating circumstances but the point is we don't know and therefore it's a bit early to be saying prison is warranted. Mike Ribble

10:56am Thu 14 Jun 12

TRT says...

To buy a lottery ticket, you need to fill in a form.
To claim your benefits you need to fill in a form.

Just where's the point at which this claim became accidental and not deliberate fraud?
To buy a lottery ticket, you need to fill in a form. To claim your benefits you need to fill in a form. Just where's the point at which this claim became accidental and not deliberate fraud? TRT

3:03pm Thu 14 Jun 12

garston tony says...

Mike all the 'mitigating' circumstances you gave as examples would 'excuse' the continuation of a situation for weeks at most before you get back to the point where the person would have to make a deliberate choice to continue defrauding the DWP.

As TRT stated I understand that benefit recipients have to confirm once a year their circumstances or face having their entitlemt stopped. This means this chap had to on at least one occassion deliberately omit to being a millionaire. Not something he, or someone acting on his behalf, is likely to have forgotten surely!

If there was mitigating circumstances such as reduced mental capacity I doubt this would be going to prosecution either by the way
Mike all the 'mitigating' circumstances you gave as examples would 'excuse' the continuation of a situation for weeks at most before you get back to the point where the person would have to make a deliberate choice to continue defrauding the DWP. As TRT stated I understand that benefit recipients have to confirm once a year their circumstances or face having their entitlemt stopped. This means this chap had to on at least one occassion deliberately omit to being a millionaire. Not something he, or someone acting on his behalf, is likely to have forgotten surely! If there was mitigating circumstances such as reduced mental capacity I doubt this would be going to prosecution either by the way garston tony

4:59pm Thu 14 Jun 12

Mike Ribble says...

There is no doubt this is a case of dishonesty - the man has admitted as much by pleading guilty.
The point I was trying to make is that sentencing is a complicated process and Tony's statement that prison is warranted before he knows the full facts is premature.
And btw Tony it is pretty well established that prison is a dumping ground for many who really need treatment more than simple detention so mental health issues don't often spare you from legal action.
There is no doubt this is a case of dishonesty - the man has admitted as much by pleading guilty. The point I was trying to make is that sentencing is a complicated process and Tony's statement that prison is warranted before he knows the full facts is premature. And btw Tony it is pretty well established that prison is a dumping ground for many who really need treatment more than simple detention so mental health issues don't often spare you from legal action. Mike Ribble

9:12am Fri 15 Jun 12

garston tony says...

Mike the chap was claiming income support suggesting quite strongly that he was able to work, if there were mental health issues then its more likely he would have been on disability living allowance or some such benefit. Therefore suggesting that he had full use of his faculties and knew exactly what he was doing.

I agree people prison is not the place for some people with mental health issues but far too often people who commit crimes are let off with a slap on the wrist giving the impression to others that they can get away with crime therefore encouraging criminal behaviour.

I'm fully aware that sentencing is a complicated process, but i'm also fully aware that all too often people with no mitigating circumstances are given pathetic punishments for crimes they have committed
Mike the chap was claiming income support suggesting quite strongly that he was able to work, if there were mental health issues then its more likely he would have been on disability living allowance or some such benefit. Therefore suggesting that he had full use of his faculties and knew exactly what he was doing. I agree people prison is not the place for some people with mental health issues but far too often people who commit crimes are let off with a slap on the wrist giving the impression to others that they can get away with crime therefore encouraging criminal behaviour. I'm fully aware that sentencing is a complicated process, but i'm also fully aware that all too often people with no mitigating circumstances are given pathetic punishments for crimes they have committed garston tony

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