A PENSIONER from Padiham is facing being made homeless after being convicted of a 10-year housing benefit scam – for a property he part-owned.
Investigators from Burnley Council discovered that Peter Davis had been claiming handouts for his home in Gawthorpe Street between September 2003 and October 2013, Burnley Crown Court was told.
But their probe found that back in 1989 Davis had become the joint leaseholder for the terraced house with a third party, the court heard.
Prosecutor Laura Nash said that the defendant continued to receive housing benefit on the property for more than 10 years, leading to an overpayment of £38,734.
Davis, 65, admitted benefits fraud and was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £1,828 court costs with an £80 victim surcharge.
Passing sentence, Mr Recorder Alldiss said he had taken into account that the defendant had no previous convictions and would effectively be made homeless at the conclusion of the case.
Patrick Thompson, defending, said his client was 65 and had ‘never been in any trouble before in his life’.
Davis was also ‘in extremely poor health’, suffering from significant heart problems which had seen him fitted with ‘three or four pacemakers'.
He was also on medication for severe depression.
He told the court that the borough council had successfully obtained a compensation order from a county court, concerning the benefits overpayment.
Mr Thompson added: “It is anticipated that the property is worth around £50,000 or so.
“So a large part of that will be paid.
“Enforcement proceedings have not yet taken place, but that is a matter for the council.”