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East Ham dole cheat spared jail for £63k con

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 May 2011 | UPDATED: 17:02 03 May 2011

Teddy Aiwone was spared jail by a judge

Teddy Aiwone was spared jail by a judge

Archant

A dole cheat who claimed virtually every form of benefit over a nine year period was spared jail last week.

Teddy Aiwone, 47, of Montpelier Gardens, East Ham, pocketed £63,000 in housing, council tax and incapacity handouts while working as a security guard.

The fraud was exposed when a simple audit revealed the tax he was paying on his earnings did not match that of a state-dependent person, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Brinder Soora, prosecuting, said the father-of-five, who has epilepsy, initially claimed incapacity legally for four months but then failed to declare he had got a job in 1999.

The barrister said he worked for eight different companies while claiming benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions, Newham Council as well as Barking and Dagenham council.

She added: “When he was interviewed in July 2008 he said he had been working as a security guard whilst claiming, that he received a letter saying he could work part-time. In fact he was working for one of the companies for 60 hours a week, for a time.

“He was earning between £100 and £1,100 a month. Had his true circumstances been known, he would have been entitled to some benefits, though considerably less, about £5,000.”

Alexia Power, defending, said prison was recommended under the guidelines, but persuaded Judge Nigel Seed QC to suspend the sentence.

She said Aiwone’s earning power was disrupted by his severe epilepsy, brought on by a car accident when he was 19. He tried to study computers but the funds dried up when his father was killed in a political rally in Nigeria.

He got a job in McDonald’s and had two children with one woman, but he had to give the job up when he had a fit.

He obtained part-time work as a security guard in 2001 and had three more children with a second woman.

She then left him alone with two of the offspring and he does not know where she is.

Currently his £850 a month earnings are spread on housing, paying back his fraud debts and his young family.

“He is the sole carer for the two children,” added the barrister. He has nobody in this country to give him assistance in supporting his children if he goes to prison.”

Judge Seed said: “If I send you to prison today these two children would be deprived of the only parent they have left.

He handed him 12-months in jail suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work.

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