Former Shrewsbury pub landlord avoids jail after 'repulsive' £19,000 fraudulent claims

A former pub landlord who swindled more than £19,000 in benefits while having more than £90,000 in the bank has avoided jail.

Shrewsbury Justice Centre
Shrewsbury Justice Centre

Alan Briscoe, an ex-RAF warfare systems expert from Shrewsbury, dishonestly benefitted from £19,068.93 while having more than £90,000 across multiple bank accounts during what a judge described as a “repulsive” set of fraudulent claims.

The 57-year-old claimed £12,700 in housing benefit, £2,794 in income support, £1,800 in employment and support allowance and £1,500 in job seekers allowance, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard yesterday.

Briscoe, who lost half of his left leg and all of the toes on his right foot to sepsis in 2015, was formerly a landlord of two pubs in Shrewsbury. He previously admitted to four counts of fraud at Telford Magistrates Court.

Caroline Harris, prosecuting, said the benefit claims took place between 2015 and 2017 and were “fraudulent from the outset”.

She said: “Between 2015 and 2017 the claims were made on the basis the defendant was a carer and unable to work. On February 20, 2015, the defendant had savings of £78,000.

“He had a total of £91,000 in his account in December 2016.

“On December 15 the defendant lied in a compliance interview. He was asked to provide evidence. He didn’t respond, perhaps unsurprisingly given the savings he had.”

Serious

The court head Briscoe, of Monkmoor, was interviewed on November 20, 2018 and was found to have four accounts with Santander, but said he “didn’t think he had to declare his ISA account”.

Ms Harris added: "It's understood this income was from the sale of a business.

"This goes on for some time and is fraudulent from the outset."

Defence barrister, Debra White, said: "Mr Briscoe is under no illusion and understands this is a serious matter.

"Since the beginning of these hearings he has paid back all of the money.

"He had an illness in 2015 which resulted in him losing the bottom half of his left leg and all of his toes from his right foot.

"That has created not only psychical difficulties but has had an impact on his mental health, it was at that point he made the claims."

Briscoe was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £340 court costs plus a victim surcharge.

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