A fraudster claimed more than £30,000 in benefits after failing to reveal his wife was working as a nurse, a court heard.
Darren Wilkinson pocketed income support, employment support allowance and housing and council tax benefits over a seven-year period.
The father from Walsall failed to disclose his wife Kerry had secured a job as a bank nurse at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. The 42-year-old, of Victoria Avenue, Blakenall, admitted three counts of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances at Walsall Magistrates Court.
Wilkinson was given a 12-week suspended sentence, two-year supervision order and told to pay £200 costs and £80 victim surcharge.The fraud worth £30,265 was carried out between 2005 and 2012 and the court was told the claim was for himself, his wife and four children.
It came to the attention of Walsall Council and the Department for Work and Pensions during a data matching exercise.
The court was told Wilkinson married health professional Kerry in 2004, and she went on to become a bank nurse whose hours fluctuated on a weekly basis. At the time of the application he said they were unemployed.Miss Kerry Munro, prosecuting, said: “Evidence was obtained from the NHS which confirmed that Kerry Wilkinson had been employed by the NHS.
“She performed general nursing duties, she was not contracted to work set hours but called into work when needed.”
When interviewed by police, Wilkinson admitted his partner had worked as a bank nurse and had done so while he received income and employment support. He said because it was temporary work and under 26 hours a week he did not believe it would make a difference to the benefits claim.
The hearing was told Wilkinson had not been in good health and had a specially adapted car. Mrs Wilkinson is also suffering back problems.
l In a separate case a woman also admitted failing to reveal a change of circumstances and claiming housing and council tax benefit and income support despite working at a supermarket. Cheryl Price, of Stringes Lane, Willenhall pleaded guilty to two charges, after not disclosing she was working for Morrisons. The overpayment to the 25-year-old amounted to £16,563 over almost six years. The case was adjourned until today for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.