Pensioner ordered to pay back £2,500 of £41,600 he stole

Chritopher Berriman, 65.
Chritopher Berriman, 65.

A benefit cheat pensioner has been ordered to pay back £2,561 of the £41,625 he stole or face six months in prison.

Christopher Berriman, 66, has spent the lion’s share of his false claim for benefits, but has been told he must find his share to pay back for his crime.

Berriman, of Medforth Road, Bridlington, claimed he and his wife were hard up claiming pension credit for four years from January 2008 to February 2012.

But social security investigators became suspicious when they found out his wife had been working at the John Bull Sweet Factory at Carnaby just two months after his fraudulent claim began in 2008.

She earned between £161 and £243 per week from the world famous rock confectioners.

Berriman appeared in the dock at Hull Crown Court on Monday June 3 for a hearing to decide his profit from crime. He pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud in January this year triggering a Humberside Police Proceeds of Crime Investigation.

Crown barrister Richard Thompson said it was true Berriman would have been entitled to some benefits, but confessed his fraud in interview.

He said the Department of Work and Pensions view was that there was a £41,625 fraud.

He said the only realisable amount was in a property jointly owned with his wife.

Judge Mark Bury ordered Berriman to stand as he told him: “I find the benefit from crime was £41,625.

“The realisable assets are £2,561.

“You have six-months to pay or you will go to prison for six months by default.”

Berriman was given a six-month suspended sentence for the original offence.