Night curfew for ex-soldier who kept pay secret

A FORMER soldier who falsely claimed more than £6,500 in benefits has been made subject to a curfew.

Rodney Carr, 48, failed to declare his Armed Forces private pension when completing claims for council tax and housing benefit.

Carr, of Sturton Grove, Illingworth, Halifax, served from 1979 to 1986, but was forced to leave for personal reasons.

After fighting cancer, he submitted a claim for the benefits on December 1, 2003.

On the forms, Carr – who is unfit to work – stated his only income was from incapacity benefit and child benefit.

His claim was assessed and, based on his income information, he was deemed eligible for £61.63 housing benefit a week and a further £13.52 in council tax benefit.

Calderdale magistrates heard that from 2003 to 2010 he received a total of £6,509 in benefit payments on top of his £101.36 Army pension.

Carr was reassessed eight times during that period and on each occasion he failed to make the council aware of his pension, which would have meant a reduction in his benefits.

In 2010 he also applied for a discretionary housing payment, which is paid out of a limited fund on a first- come, first-served basis.

He received £123.89 for the period from March 2, 2010 to June 20, 2010.

It was only in February 2011 that the council received information about Carr’s extra income and investigated his finances.

Carr admitted the 18 offences of making a false statement or representation to the obtain benefit.

Mark Baxendale, defending, said Carr didn’t tell the council about his pension as he had been told by two army majors that he didn’t need to declare it to any civil authority.

“He lives with his 17-year-old twin sons and has to support them without a job,” said Mr Baxendale.

Magistrates gave Carr a 12-week curfew, meaning he will have to stay at home from 6pm to 6am.