On the 23rd of September 2016, Barrie Osgood, a Carlisle City Councillor, was found guilty of having made fraudulent Housing benefit claims. He was later sentenced to a 12 month community order with 180 hours of unpaid work and also instructed to pay costs totalling £830. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
You lied because you knew you would not get benefit if you told the truth Andy Travis
For a 11 month period from June 2014, Barrie had fraudulently claimed in excess of £3000 in housing benefit, whilst neglecting to mention that he also owned a property that he was letting out.
Osgood had been elected to the council in May 2015, therefore it seems as though he ceased to fraudulently collect benefit following his election. What made him think he qualified as a "fit and proper person" to hold elected office prior to this, is still a mystery. Irrespective of what he submitted as mitigating circumstances, primarily revolving around health related issues at the time of the offence. It was noted that it required him to make three separate false statements (by means of ommision) on his benefits application. These he attributed to a genuine mistake. This was rejected by the court. It was noted that the only "errors" were those directly pertinent to his income and that other aspects of the benefit claim were completed correctly.
Following the guilty verdict he has apologised for his actions to all affected parties. The court was also told that he had already paid back the overpayment to Carlisle City Council.