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HOUSING OFFICER APPEAL REJECTED

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A Bristol City Council housing officer who obtained£18,000 in housing benefit fraud over three years has been deni...
A Bristol City Council housing officer who obtained£18,000 in housing benefit fraud over three years has been denied leave to appeal his 18-month prison sentence.

Sean Michael Smith (29) was jailed in May after admitting a charge of false accounting. He had created fictitious housing benefit claimants and pocketed the money. The fraud was carried out between June 1994 and August 1997.

It was his second attempt to appeal his sentence. The court heard that Mr Smith had been motivated by a desire to give his wife and two young children a high standard of living after his first son died in 1991.

Mr Smith's lawyer, Stephen Mooney, told the appeal court: 'Smith tried to better the life of his wife and children. Police found more toys in his house than in any other they had visited - that was one way the money was spent.'
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