Tayside and Central Scotland

Kitchen porter fraudulently claimed £21,569 in benefits

Stirling Sheriff Court
Image caption Stirling Sheriff Court was told Henryk Bryjak was paying the money back at £80 per month

A kitchen porter who fraudulently claimed £21,569 in benefits has been given a community sentence.

Henryk Bryjak, 59, claimed employment and support allowance while working full time at Jam Jar in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.

Bryjak failed to tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that he had started working at the restaurant.

He was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after admitting the two-and-a-half year fraud.

Stirling Sheriff Court was told that Bryjak had repaid £1,000 of the money and was making payments of £80 per month to the DWP.

The offence took place between May 2013 and September 2015.

Ken Dalling, defending, said his client initially claimed benefits while working part-time for a different employer.

Mr Dalling said: "When he was given full-time employment, he didn't make the necessary declaration.

"He takes full responsibility for this. He is clear in his instructions to me that he didn't simply forget to notify.

"There was no active planning involved, but he does accept it was not mere neglect."

Sheriff William Gilchrist told Bryjak: "The level of the benefit claimed by you fraudulently is such that the court is bound to consider the imposition of a custodial sentence.

"With some hesitation, I will employ an alternative to custody in view of your age, your family circumstances, and your lack of previous convictions."

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