Dairy worker in £4k benefit overpayment

Preston Magistrates' Court
Preston Magistrates' Court

A DAIRY worker has admitted committing benefit fraud after a court heard he received overpayments of around £4,000.

Dad-to-be Paul Parker, of Fletcher Road, Deepdale, Preston, failed to declare to the authorities that his wife Michaela was working part time behind the bar at the Longridge British Legion Club, Preston Magistrates’ Court was told.

It led to him receiving overpayments in housing benefit of more than £4,000, the court was told.

The 35-year-old admitted a charge of dishonestly failing notify Ribble Valley Borough Council his partner was in employment.

His pregnant wife sat in the gallery as proceedings took place.

Prosecuting, Andy Robinson told the court: “ It was not fraudulent from the outset but it later became an offence of dishonesty.”

Defending him, Sephton Lee said: “They have been married for five years and have two children and are expecting a daughter in January.

“He works at Singleton’s Dairy in Longridge as a dairy operative and previously worked at the Littletown Dairy.

He didn’t tell them of the change - it was an oversight on his part.

“He had previously told them of similar changes.

“I ask you to bear in mind he made full and frank admissions.”

The court heard his wife was eventually made redundant from the club before taking up work as a cleaner.

She gave up work after falling pregnant.

Preston Magistrates’ Court imposed an eight week curfew.

The bench ordered him to pay a £60 surcharge and £85 costs.