Man guilty of £74,000 benefits fraud


A man has been convicted of getting nearly £74,000 in benefits by fraud after pretending he had split up from his wife..

Sydney Campbell got income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit by claiming he was jobless, living on his own and had no source of income.

But all the time his wife, Jeanette, was living with him at a house in Woodside Street, New Stevenston, and earning a wage as a carer.

Campbell is 63 today and his birthday was marked by a guilty verdict at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Now of Whittagreen Court, Newarthill, he was convicted by a jury of getting £73,841 by fraud after making false claims between March 2002 and January 2011.

Joanne Reilly, a fraud investigator with the Department of Work and Pensions, said a probe began after information was received that Campbell’s wife was living with him at the house in Woodside Street.

She was asked by Imran Bashir, prosecuting, to look at forms Campbell had filled in.

In them he stated he had separated from his wife in May 1998 and had been staying with his daughter in Motherwelll until December that year when he moved into the house in Woodside Street.

Campbell said he had stopped working in May 1998 and claimed to be suffering from panic attacks and nervous depression.

Ms Reilly said Campbell had been getting income support, but this was adjusted when he moved from his daughter’s home to his own tenancy.

She told the court income support is based on total household income and if his wife had been living with him and working his entitlement would have been affected.

Campbell denied fraud and his wife told defence agent Jim O’Dowd that they weren’t living together and she used his address only for postal purposes.

After the guilty verdict Sheriff Thomas Millar deferred sentence for background reports and ordered Campbell to return to court next month.