Couple in their 70s guilty of £140,000 benefit fraud including claim in Brentwood

07:00 09 May 2014

A couple in their 70s have received suspended sentences after pleading guilty to falsely claiming more than £140,000 in benefits.

The married couple falsely claimed benefits while failing to declare they were living together, and had an undeclared property in Brentwood.

Raymond and Georgina Wood, 79 and 75, of Grantham, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to a total of 23 charges at Basildon Crown Court.

Mrs Wood had falsely claimed Council Tax Benefit from Brentwood Borough Council.

The couple were given a 12-month custodial sentence suspended for two years at the trial that concluded on April 29.

The charges included dishonestly making false statements in order to obtain benefits, failing to notify changes of circumstances, retaining wrongful credits, fraud, as well as aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring another to commit the offence.

Mrs Wood had £16,000 in undeclared capital and also had a property in Basildon which she did not tell the authorities about.

In sentencing, the judge stressed that he took benefit fraud seriously due to its effect on public funds and that it made it more difficult for people legitimately claiming benefits but he gave credit to the pair for their guilty pleas and their age.

Rick Steels, Brentwood Borough Council’s benefits chief, said: “This was a complex case involving different locations over a number of years. It also showed the effective joint working between Brentwood, Basildon and South Kesteven Councils and the DWP.

“The council is determined to crack down on fraudulent claims, particularly as they are unfair to hardworking taxpayers and those who genuinely need the benefits system to work for them. Benefit fraud is illegal and those who cheat the system will be prosecuted and will have to pay back what they have stolen.”

Read more:

Benefits cheat sentenced to community service after illegally claiming more than £2,400 from Brentwood Council

Brentwood benefits cheat must return taxpayers money


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Children planted trees in the new raised beds for the opening of the Tired Tree

A new nursery opened this week offering the community a place to learn and play after finishing the first phase of renovation works.

Natasha Sawkins and Juliet Thomas who started the petition. Picture: Kika Mitchell Photography.

A campaign to remove the “derogatory and stereotypical” ‘Essex Girl’ definition from the dictionary has gained huge momentum after thousands signed up to a petition.

Pumpkin farmer Ray Chapman

A farmer and a garden centre are making the most of the growing demand for pumpkins at this time of year.

Dead koi at a farm in Collier Row. Picture Crown copyright.

An outbreak of fish herpes has been confirmed in Collier Row.

A man was assaulted in Millbrook Gardens, Romford. Photo: Google Maps

A 59-year-old maintenance engineer has been left traumatised after being randomly beaten up in his van by two men.

Rosewood Medical Centre, Astra Close, Hornchurch. Picture: Google Maps.

Thousands of patients registered with a doctor’s practice will be automatically transferred to a different surgery following the retirement of a GP.


A proposal to install an ice rink in market place over the Christmas period is due to be considered by a council committee tonight (Thursday).

Yesterday, 16:46

A 1940s tea party was organised to raise awareness about dementia.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now