Sentence deferred on ‘greedy’ car dealer over benefit fraud

With a second-hand car dealership worth more than £100,000 and six separate bank accounts totalling more than £174,000, Colin Knight fraudulently claimed in excess of £8,800 income support.

The 48-year-old also purchased his home at Hillend Drive, Hawick, for £32,000 while receiving the benefit.

Knight admitted receiving £8,835 income support to which he was not entitled between November 15 2001 and March 27 2009.

Prosecutor Mark Keane told Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Friday how Knight had been running a second hand car dealership, while claiming income support, and had income and assets of over £100,000. “He had also bought the property where he lives at Hillend Drive for £32,240, while in receipt of benefits and failed to declare that either,” added Mr Keane.

He said Knight had six separate bank accounts with £174,570.41 being transferred through these accounts between April 2007 and March 2009.

“These sums were also never notified to officials at the Department of Work and Pensions,” continued Mr Keane.

Knight gave police a “no comment” interview.

Solicitor Matt Patrick, defending, said his client saw his behaviour as “greedy” and realised he should have declared his assets.

“He took a risk of continuing his fraudulent claim, knowing the position,” explained Mr Patrick.

“Given the sum involved it is a very straightforward choice between custody or a community based disposal,” conceded Mr Patrick.

The solicitor said Knight had transferred the house to his nephew, and was currently making about £60 a week dog-walking.

He said one £60 repayment had been made to date.

Sheriff Donald Corke said he was “deeply suspicious” to learn the house had been transferred into Knight’s nephew’s name, and deferred sentence for one month, until July 15, for further investigation.