A man has been sentenced for dishonestly failing to notify changes to his social security benefit claim, including Universal Credit, Employment Disability Living Allowance, and Carers Allowance.

Mark Graeme Lockwood, 43, from Colenso Street, Hartlepool was handed a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on Monday (July 8) to three counts of failing to notify changes that affected his entitlement to social security benefits.

Over several years Lockwood withheld information from the Department for Work and Pensions concerning his children no longer being in his care, impacting benefits he received including Universal Credit, Employment Disability Living Allowance, and Carers Allowance.

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The Universal Credit charge concerned a period between September 3, 2020 and May 2, 2023, while the second  Employment Disability Living Allowance charge concerned a period between  September 3, 2020, and June 16, 2021.

Meanwhile, a third charge, regarding Carers Allowance, concerned the period between September 28, 2020, and April 24, 2022.

The defendant was ordered to £154 surcharge to fund victim services and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.