BENEFITS cheat Anthony Pritchard was warned by a judge on yesterday that he would be sent to jail unless he pays back all the money he defrauded from the State over a nine-year period.
Pritchard, 68, of Dalloway Estate, Thrupp, near Stroud, faced Gloucester Crown Court on Monday.
He had claimed a total of £59,211.25p in Disability Benefits between August 2006 and April 2017 that he was not entitled to.
Prosecuting barrister Alun Williams told the court that a proceeds of crime investigation had concluded that Pritchard benefited from crime by £66,251 but has assets, including his home, worth a total of £214,711 and is therefore able to repay his debt in full.
The judge, Recorder Joanne Martin QC, told Pritchard “You have three months to satisfy the order, either by remortgaging your home, sale or other means – otherwise you will go to prison for one year.”
Pritchard had received a nine months jail term suspended for a year for his fraud.
He had been paid disability benefits because he failed to notify the authorities that he was being paid rental from another property.
Said defending lawyer Matthew Harbison: “My client accepts the benefit figure.”
Pritchard was also ordered to pay £720 prosecution costs.