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Carlisle man sentenced for £37,000 benefit fraud

[A] CARLISLE man has been handed a suspended jail term for a £37,000 benefit fiddle.

Andrew Sullivan, 35, was sentenced at the city’s crown court today (WED) for crimes committed over four years.

Sullivan had pleaded guilty earlier this month to one offence of dishonestly failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances. He also admitted two counts of making a dishonest representation for obtaining benefit.

The court heard Sullivan initially made legitimate claims for employment and support allowance, along with housing and council tax benefit.

But these became fraudulent when he failed to notify the authorities he had been bequeathed £30,000 from a will.

Sullivan, of Ellesmere Way, Carlisle, was given a 21-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years. He also received a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and a four-month electronically-monitored night-time curfew.

Judge Peter Davies told Sullivan: “You are a thief. That is what benefit fraud is – it is theft.”

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