Man kept claiming benefits because he ‘struggled with the concept he had reward out of tragedy’

Court news.
Court news.

A man who wasn’t entitled to benefits due to getting his inheritance still claimed as he ‘struggled with the concept he had a reward out of a tragedy’.

Cameron Copus, 35, of Tennyson Close, Boston, appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, pleading guilty to six counts of making a false statement to obtain benefits.

Prosecuting, Simon Rowe, said Copus had claimed job seekers, employment support allowance and council tax benefit in 2007/8 and then February 2009 to July 2012 – collecting £8,236.02 in the second period.

However, during a routine Department for Work and Pensions check and subsequent investigation, it was found that he had ‘capital in excess of the permitted limits’.

Defending, Beris Brickles said Copus had come into the money following the deaths of his mother and uncle, the accounts for which were handled by his father.

However, he said: “When he spoke to me, he had no interest in the account.

“It’s quite well known to probate lawyers that when people get an inheritance they tend to struggle with the concept that they have had a reward out of tragedy.”

He said Copus had not had good mental health following the loss of his mother which he witnessed first hand, and had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

This had lead to a breakdown, but that he was now back on his feet and working as a security guard.

He added that at the time Copus had no idea how much money was in the account but was left with about £24,000 when the benefit money had been paid back.

Magistrates gave Copus a £650 fine and ordered him to pay £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge.