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Man charged with fraud after claiming benefits while in Barbados

PUBLISHED: 11:44 23 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:44 23 November 2015

Bromley Magistrates Court. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

Bromley Magistrates Court. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The former Bromley resident is estimated to have gained more than £28,000

A former Bromley resident was prosecuted on November 5 at Bromley Magistrates’ Court for cheating Bromley Council out of more than £28,000.

Geoffrey Thorpe, 60, of Sunningvale Avenue, Biggin Hill, had under investigation by the council following information that he had been living in Barbados for more than two years, while subletting his claim address.

Mr Thorpe also receives Disability Living Allowance as he is classed as severely disabled.

It was found that Thorpe has falsely claimed £28,136 in income support, housing benefit and council tax support, not including the overpayment relating to his Disability Living Allowance.

Thorpe admitted living in Barbados since at least October 2012.

Thorpe was charged with two counts of knowingly failing to notify a change in his circumstances affecting his claim to housing benefit, council tax support and DWP benefits. A guilty plea ‘in absence’ was entered by Thorpe’s solicitor on 8th July. F

Following a trial at Bromley Magistrates Court on the 5th November, he was found guilty of both charges and was given an 8 week prison sentence for both offences, to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months.

Due to his inability to undertake community work, he was given a curfew order for 8 weeks between 8pm and 7am which would be electronically monitored.

The full overpayment is to be recovered through civil proceedings.

Thorpe’s landlords, Affinity Sutton, are currently seeking repossession of the property.

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