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EX-HOUSING CHIEF IN COURT OVER EMPLOYMENT OF BENEFIT CHEATS

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Chester crown court yesterday heard how the former director of housing at Isle of Anglesey CC employed two men who ...
Chester crown court yesterday heard how the former director of housing at Isle of Anglesey CC employed two men who were already receiving benefits to work on his new home.

The Western Mail (p1) reports that John Arthur Jones spearheaded a crackdown against benefit cheats and claimed his benefit fraud team was such a success that there was no hiding place for fraudsters on the island.

But the court heard that two brothers receiving jobseekers' allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit worked on Mr Jones's house for£5 an hour.

Mr Jones then bullied and coerced some of his officers - even suspending his chief fraud officer - when he discovered he was being investigated, it was alleged.

Patrick Harrington, QC, prosecuting, said Mr Jones had painted a picture of a man dedicated to stamping out fraud 'but it was selective fraud and didn't include him, because the reality was completely different'.

'Ultimately, he abandoned the trust placed in him as a public officer and further, when he realised he had been caught or might have been caught, he lied, bullied and coerced and intimidated his subordinate employees intending to cover things up,' he said.

Mr Jones, who was sacked from his job, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of misconduct in public office, two charges of intimidating witnesses and two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The case continues and is expected to last three weeks.

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