Two years for ‘separated’ benefits cheat


A benefits cheat has been jailed for two years after claiming almost £74,000 by pretending he and his wife had separated.

Sydney Campbell filled in forms saying he was living alone and had no income after splitting from his wife, Jeanette.

However, the authorities were tipped off that the Campbells were at the same address in Woodside Street, New Stevenston.

Mrs Campbell was working as a council carer and her wage would have affected what her husband could claim.

Campbell (63), now of Whittagreen Court, Newarthill, was found guilty after trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court of getting £73,841 in benefits between 2002 and 2011. Mrs Campbell claimed she and her husband had separated and she used his address for postal purposes only, but the jury didn’t believe her.

Defence agaent Douglas Barr said Campbell has health problems but would be willing to undertake light duties if given an unpaid community work order instead of jail. Mr Barr added: “It is unfortunate that a man at his age finds himself in court.”

Sheriff Thomas Millar told Campbell: “This was an offence over a lengthy period which allowed you to take more than £70,000 from the public purse.

“Given your candid comments to social workers that you would have continued if you had not been caught, custody is inevitable.”