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Fraud investigator and wife jailed for benefits scam

The couple were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court
The couple were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court

A couple who defrauded taxpayers of £75,000 in a benefits scam have been sent to prison.

Stephen Norwood, 49, and wife Sarah, of Dumpton Park Drive, Ramsgate, admitted 12 charges of fraud at Canterbury Crown Court

The court heard how in 1993 Mrs Norwood claimed to be a single mother and began receiving income support.

But the truth was she was married to Mr Norwood, who joined the Department of Works and Pensions in 1998 and later became a fraud investigator.

Over a 13 year period, the couple received income support, council tax benefits and tax credits totalling £75,000.

Mr Norwood was jailed for two years after being branded by a judge as “a hypocrite of the highest order".

His wife was sent to prison for 18 months.- and the couple now face legal proceedings to recover some of the money.

Oliver Saxby, defending Mr Norwood, claimed the couple had not spent the money "on yachts or luxurious living".

But Judge Adele Williams told them that they had been "living a lie because it had been significant and prolonged dishonesty".

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