Pembrokeshire man who falsely claimed benefits must sell Spanish home or face prison

4:00pm Monday 20th January 2014

A Pembrokeshire man has been ordered to sell his 100,000 euro home in the south of Spain after being caught falsely claiming benefits.

Nigel Charles Hadley, aged 61, was warned he would receive an 18 month prison sentence if he did not repay £25,960 as well as £1,200 in prosecution costs and a £100 government surcharge within six months.

Hadley - who h gave his last address as Pembroke Dock - admitted making false statements on three occasions in order to receive employment support payments, housing benefit and council tax relief.

Hoa Dieu, prosecuting on behalf of the Deprtment for Work and Pensions, told Swansea crown court that Hadley repeatedly stated that he did not own any property abroad.

But since 2002 he had owned a mortgage free fisherman's cottage near Marbella.

In 2011 he returned to Pembrokeshire and began claiming benefits he was not entitled to because the Spanish property meant he had assets above the permited limit.

Jim Davis, Hadley's barrister, said the house was his only asset. He used to run a firm providing catering to film companies shooting on location in Spain.

But a stroke had put an end to the venture.

Hadley had since returned to live in Marbella.

Hadley was jailed for nine months, suspended for 18 months.

Judge Keith Thomas made a confiscation order and told Hadley he would have to sell the property.

He warned Hadley that if he did not settle the order within six months he would go to jail and still owe the money.

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