Former pit worker illegally claimed over £3,000 in benefits

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A former pit worker from Meden Vale illegally claimed over £3,000 in benefits after he had received a lump-sum miner’s pension.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, October 19, how Edward Websdale, 64, of Hatfield Avenue, Meden Vale, in Mansfield, failed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions that he was receiving an occupational pit pension while he was continuing to claim Jobseekers Allowance.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The circumstances are that he was not fraudulently claiming from the outset. He was claiming from 2009 and he was entitled to this but it later came to the DWP’s attention that he was in receipt of a pension and that led to an overpayment of £3,061.61.”

Mrs Allsop added that Websdale failed to declare the pension which began in May, 2013, and he admitted he had last competed his benefits form in 2009 and he could not remember the exact date the pension began but recognised he had been dishonest by not declaring the pension.

Websdale pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to Jobseekers Allowance between May 25, 2013, and March 4, 2016.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Websdale is illiterate and people have had to help him with filling in forms over the years and he added that Websdale had received a lump-sum miner’s pension payment in 2013.

Mr Brint told how Websdale has done a variety of jobs but when he worked in the pit a friend suffered an accident and the defendant dragged him to safety but he died and this has had a profound effect on the defendant.

The court also heard that Websdale works voluntarily for Age UK and has so far paid back £1,243.20 and intends to pay back all the money owed.

Magistrates fined Websdale £200 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.