A wheelchair-bound man, left permanently disabled in an accident at work, was paid more than £14,000 in benefits he was not entitled to over 14 years after failing to declare he had an ISA savings account, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
Clifton Conally, 60, of Thornton Old Road, Fairweather Green, who was of previous good character, pleaded guilty to obtaining benefits by deception.
His solicitor advocate, Tom Rushbrooke, said his client had an endowment policy to pay off his mortgage. But he could not afford the repayments and was given advice to transfer it into an ISA for the interest.
Mr Rushbrooke said that if the money had remained in the endowment policy he would not have committed an offence because it would have been an allowable asset.
Judge Peter Benson said Conally had omitted mentioning the ISA, but the benefit money was being paid back.
Judge Benson said: “I am dealing with this case on the basis there was an element of confusion. You did not go out to deliberately rob the public of money to which you weren’t entitled.”
Conally was conditionally discharged for two years.