A TRUCKER has been jailed for his involvement in his partner’s benefits scam – and was blasted by a judge for his “disgraceful” attitude.
Brian Harris, 48, denied aiding and abetting his then partner Adele Harper, 29, the mother of his two children, to falsely claim more than £66,700 in benefits.
He said that as a long distance lorry driver he slept in his lorry during the week and in his car at weekends.
But he was convicted by a jury thanks to Harper who gave evidence for the prosecution – and a wealth of other evidence that they were living as a couple.
Brett Williamson, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court they had lived together from 2001 to 2010 and his employer’s records showed her address at Sutton Drive in Wrexham as his address.
He had her down as his next of kin, DVLA records showed he had registered a car from that address together with insurance policies.
Harris, now in a new relationship and living at Woodlands Walk at Acrefair, was jailed for nine months.
Harper received a six month sentence, suspended for 12 months, with 150 hours’ unpaid work.
She must also follow courses run by the probation service.
The Recorder John Philpotts, told Harris he was quite satisfied he was the dominant partner.
He had shown no remorse and continued to deny the offence.
The defendant’s attitude was that he worked hard and could do what he liked with his money.
He had fathered four children and was the main mover in the offence, the judge said.
His disgraceful attitude towards the mother of his children, and towards women in general, had come across in court.
“It did you no credit at all,” the judge said.
Earlier the judge said of Harris: “His attitude was that his wages were his to do what he pleased with and he had very little responsibility to support the family – not entirely because he would buy them clothing from time to time.
“But his attitude was that it was his money, he earned it and he could do with it what he pleased.”
The losers were the ordinary, honest, people who worked as hard as the defendant and who paid their taxes to help fund the benefits system.
The judge told Harper he was satisfied she played the lesser role and to some extent was dominated by her co-defendant.
She had pleaded guilty and was remorseful. She was of previous good character and had the responsibility of looking after four children aged 11, eight, seven and
Oliver King, for Harper, said she accepted responsibility for what she had done.
If she was jailed she and the children would lose their accommodation and it was clear she would benefit from the intervention of probation.
John Hedgecoe, for Harris, said that in 2007 the couple had separated for nine months. Nobody could say that anybody was applying pressure on her to act dishonestly during that period, and it meant the amount of money involved in his case would have been about £9,000 less.
The defendant was a man who worked extremely hard and had been with the same employer as a long distance lorry driver for the past 10 years.