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Benefit cheat Shaun Gulwell to pay back £33k
A BENEFIT fraudster who cheated his way to £39,000 of taxpayers’ money will have to hand over £33,000 within six months or face a year in jail, a judge has ordered.
Shaun Patrick Gulwell, 46, was jailed for six months in May after the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst heard he had spent most of his illegally-claimed incapacity benefit on alcohol.
From 2003 to 2011, he claimed he could not work because of his alcoholism and other matters but in fact earned a living as a landscape gardener and then a forklift driver.
Now Judge Scott Wolstenholme has ordered Gulwell to hand over his share of the equity in his marital home, plus £3,000 from his bank account.
Gulwell, of Marlborough Road, Tadcaster , was not in court to hear the judge make the £33,000 confiscation order.
The judge also ordered Gulwell to pay up within six months or face a further 12 months in jail.
After reading documents submitted by the prosecution and the defence, the judge decided Gulwell’s share of the matrimonial home was £30,000 and that some of its upkeep had been funded by Gulwell’s criminal behaviour.
He also heard that Gulwell’s bank account held £3,900 in June and that he had lost his job when he was sent to jail.
In May, Gulwell’s solicitor advocate, Colin Byrne, told York Crown Court that Gulwell’s marriage had broken up after his benefit fraud was discovered.
He had been a chronic alcoholic who had started drinking when he was 13 and by the age of 22, was drinking 12 pints a day, plus vodka.
The confiscation order was made under legislation designed to force criminals to hand over their criminal profits.