Housing benefits claim case dropped

PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 10 June 2010

An Otterton man, who was alleged to have claimed £27,500 in housing benefits to which he was not entitled, will not face criminal charges.

An Otterton man, who was alleged to have claimed £27,500 in housing benefits to which he was not entitled, will not face criminal charges.

Exeter Crown Court heard that 47-year-old Stephen Baker had been charged with four offences of dishonestly obtaining the benefits from 1997.

Prosecutor David Evans said the case against Mr Baker had been that he failed to disclose he had £45,000 in capital left to him in his father's will.

However, it had come to light that Mr Baker had, in fact, made the disclosure to an officer of East Devon District Council.

The prosecutor said the record showed there had been talks between the two parties in which Mr Baker had made the position clear at the time.

"It would be difficult to maintain the prosecution case on the basis that he had not disclosed it and was therefore dishonest," said Mr Evans.

He said in view of that, the prosecution was not going to continue the case against Mr Baker of New Cottages, The Green.

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