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Barnstaple man falsely claimed over £8,000 in benefits

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 December 2017

North Devon Magistrates' Court.

North Devon Magistrates' Court.

Archant

Martin Rigler, of Pilton Lawn, pleaded guilty to claiming £8696.02 in income support without declaring a large inheritance.

A Barnstaple man has appeared in court after falsely claiming more than £8,000 in benefits.

Martin Rigler, of Pilton Lawn, pleaded guilty to claiming £8696.02 in income support without declaring a large inheritance.

The 62-year-old began claiming the benefit in April 2016, as he was unable to work due to a stroke he had in 2003.

Income support is only available to anyone with capital of less than £6,000.

Prosecutor Ben Winzer said Rigler had failed to declare he had received two inheritance payments of £50,000 and £57,000 in April and October 2016.

Rigler, who was unrepresented in court, said he had been depressed and had ‘forgotten’ to inform the DWP.

He told magistrates: “I’ve been in a bad place for a long time; I just forgot because I had so many bad things going on in my life.”

Magistrates heard Rigler paid the money back in full in October.

They sentenced him to a community order with a curfew of eight weeks, as well as £170 in fines and costs.

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