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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A. has been sentenced to 18 months prison suspended for 2 years

Customer Question

A. has been sentenced to 18 months prison suspended for 2 years for benefit fraud committed 2004-2006. Now A. is expecting another sentence for another charge for benefit fraud committed in 2003 prior to this one. How does this new charge affect the recently imposed suspended sentence? Not at all or does this mean A. will have to go to prison for 18 months if charged guilty for the former deed?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
What are the circumstances of the new offence?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is the same charge in principal. Less overpayment (~£10K), but different Council.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Was this an ongoing course of conduct or did this person stop claiming in 2003 and start again in 2004?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


A. stopped claiming in 2004 at one council and then started in 2004 claiming in a different council. There were a few months without claim between the two.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
That probably would be considered a course of conduct then.

The advantage of that is that any sentence should be concurrent rather than consecutive.

Where a person stops offending for a period of time and begins again normally they would get consecutive sentences but this conduct is really within that meaning.

If there was an earlier benefit fraud then they are free to prosecute it. If the person is in custody anyway then obviously they can only get a custodial sentence for this matter. Unless the benefit fraud before the court is substantially worse than the other the sentence is not likely to be different. The course of conduct was before the matter for which he is serving so its not aggravated by the fact of being on bail or otherwise.

Overall, probably the sentence imposed would be concurrent.

Hope this helps.