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Man, 55, cleared of falsely claiming housing benefit
9:10am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
A former military policeman who received more than £28,500 in housing benefit he wasn’t entitled to will now not face prosecution.
Adam Guerin, who has paid back the money, had been due to face charges of false accounting at Swindon Crown Court.
The 55-year-old had actually phoned the authorities himself to alert them that he was incorrectly receiving the money.
But prosecutors brought a case of false accounting which has now been dropped after they said they could not prove he acted dishonestly in taking the money.
He had been accused of claiming full police housing allowance over a 15-year period when he was only entitled to half the amount as he rented, rather than owned, the property.
Simon Foster, for the Crown, said “The essence of the case, which is dishonesty, is perhaps uncertain.”
He said Guerin, of The Common, Broughton Gifford, had been ‘ambivalent about the status of the household in which he lived’.
But he added: “It would not be proper in all the circumstances to press the allegation that he acted dishonestly.”
Mr Foster said “He rang when he became acquainted with the regulations. He made the initial telephone call to explain the circumstances. He said he was renting.”
Judge Douglas Field returned formal not guilty verdicts on four charges of false accounting between 1995 and 2011.
He discharged Guerin and made a defendants’ costs order to cover his travel to court and any legal aid contributions.