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Hereford couple in £64,000 benefit fraud

Paul Jones

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Another slap on the wrist handed out by the courts with this shockingly lenient sentence that provides absolutely no deterrent to others whatsoever. I know who this this chap is and he drives a very nice Nissan Skyline and guess who has been paying for that..

Hereford Times report



A COUPLE from Hereford have admitted their part in a £64,000 benefits fiddle.

Graham Davies, aged 54, and Maria Thomas, aged 55, were given suspended sentences after pleading guilty to offences of failing to notify the authorities of a change in circumstances over their occupancy of a flat in Blakemore Close, Newton Farm.
Prosecutor Kevin Donnelly told Worcester Crown Court that Davies claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit in respect of the flat, owned by Thomas. He also claimed income support.
The pair, who had no romantic association, cohabited the flat and Thomas paid the bills for water, TV licence and the mortgage.
It had been calculated that Davies was paid £20,103 in income support. With housing benefit and council tax, the pair’s total bill for benefits was £64,255.
Mark Thompson, mitigating, said Thomas had a fulltime job as a carer.
Davies was also a carer for his mother. The case had been hanging over them for two and a half years and they had started to repay some of the money.
Recorder Anthony Lowe said the pair had systematically claimed benefits of £64,000 and he felt the public could rightly be outraged.
The public purse had been deprived, but he was suspending the 12-month sentences for two years.
Thomas must do 180 hours unpaid work while Davies was told to carry out 240 hours.
He ordered each of them to pay £3,250 costs
Here is a photograph of his rather nice car captured with Google Street View
Why were they not ordered to pay all of the money back? A large preportion of this fraudulently claimed money has gone a long way to paying off that mortgage.
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Unbelievable and the sentence is even worse, it is no wonder the country is in such debt with people like this taking the micky out of the system. I cannot understand why they have not been ordered to pay all the money back? If this was VAT it would of been a different storey.  :Thumbs-Down:

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Unbelievably, over in crazy-FaceBookland, there is more than one person actually defending them!?!?

As we, as taxpayers, have effectively been paying their mortgage, does that mean we can move in with them if we so choose?


I agree, I have read the comments on the HT website, clearly either Mr Davies or a close friend trying to defend him, unbelievable it really is. The judge should of made an example of these people instead he has basically given the green light to others to do the same.

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At least there is some consistency in the sentencing.

It is not so long ago that two property developers were given suspended sentences for a multi-million pound property fraud involving mortgages. The judge said that as they were deeply ashamed and their reputations ruined, they had "suffered enough".


Proportionality should be maintained. A £64K benefit fraud is a crime, but so is avoiding £10m in tax, yet both appear to be valued similarly by the justice system.


The lesson: if you are going to defraud the system, make it worthwhile, because the sentence is likely to be the same.

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Under the proceeds of crime act i cannot see why the property is not taken by the council and sold and the money from the sale split between the council and mortgage company. As it stands the sentence is a joke and insult to honest working people.


I cannot believe how pathetic the punishment handed out on this case is. They have made a complete mockery of the system and the judge has basically done the same in my view. ALL their benefits should be withdrawn immediately but I bet they are still claiming something and that money will go towards paying the £5 per week they have probably set up to pay the fines, so not only have they had £64k for FREE!!! They have also now been given the money for FREE to pay off the fine. This is so wrong on so many levels it is hard to comprehend.

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I really don't understand why everyone is so shocked by this.

It is absolutely rife, not only in Hereford but all over the country.

In one or two cases I know people in their mid-30s who have never ever worked a day in their life, have fantastic lives, big TV's etc, and spend more time in the pub than I ever could.

I have pretty much worked every day since I left school, have a decent job, good income and nice house, but I have worked and saved hard all my life to get to where I am and have what I have.

With commuting etc, I do a 65 hour week, when I do have a day off, I sometimes walk in town and go in places like the fleece and the barrels, you will see the same faces all the time, and you know they have not worked in years, are nipping over to the bookies to put their bets on etc, and sometimes helping one another out filling in their claim forms.

There are a lot of hard working people who are not less fortunate, but have worked hard all their lives to have what they have and support their families in the right way.

But there is too much of a mentality in this country still for handouts etc.

It should be very simple, if you don't work because you choose not to-you do not get money.

A lot of people moan about the eastern Europeans coming over-but at least they come here to work, and put in to our economy, not just take out.


I agree, I know people who have been claiming for years, surely after a 2-3 max! They should have their claim reviewed and or stopped. 

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A lad I went to school with has never worked but has everything free from you and me! Boasting he gets £200+ a week handouts & can't work because hes had a bad back since 1995!

What you might call a player of the system!!


"Why do I need to get a job, when I get paid to be in the pub everyday?"

Four kids by four mothers too, none of which live with him!

I'm proud that mines all bought and paid for by hard graft since 95!


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