Husband Douglas Pattenden of Twydall claims £100k in fraudulent benefits despite wife working
A benefit cheat who obtained £100,000 he was not entitled to over 11 years has been jailed for 14 months.
Douglas Pattenden had been a nursing assistant in a mental health team when he became ill himself and could not work.
He made a legitimate claim for incapacity benefit but then failed to declare that his wife was working, Maidstone Crown Court heard.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
Prosecutor Christopher May said Pattenden, of Lower Twydall Lane, Twydall, Gillingham, started claiming the benefit in 2001.
His wife was then offered part-time work but he did not notify the Department of Work and Pensions.
Mukhtiar Singh, defending, said the 48-year-old father did not seek to justify what he had done and had pleaded guilty from the outset.
“He is incredibly ashamed about what he has done,” said Mr Singh.
“His wife was not earning particularly much. These were difficult financial times. He was very ill and tried to recover his health.”
“His wife was not earning particularly much. These were difficult financial times. He was very ill and tried to recover his health" - Mukhtiar Singh, defending
Because he worked in a mental health team he could not be treated locally. He was now under care and receiving treatment.
“He has tried to find work despite his difficulties,” said Mr Singh.
“He has IT qualifications. He is either over-qualified or doesn’t have commercial experience. His vocation was taken away from him due to mental health.”
Judge Michael Carroll said Pattenden had been living above his means while getting benefit he was not entitled to.
“His wife is earning a not inconsiderable sum,” he said. “Even with all this money coming in he is £10,000 in debt as well.”
He told Pattenden: “I note what is said about your mental condition. But you must have known when you were signing these documents you were committing fraud over the years.”