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Former Liberal Democrat Kingston councillor Tim Dennen admits £3.6k benefit fraud
A former Kingston councillor has admitted to fraudulently claiming £3,600 in council tax benefits from the authority he served as an elected member.
Tim Dennen, 57, from York Road, Kingston, pleaded guilty to seven charges of dishonestly making false statements or failing to notify changes in circumstance at Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court this morning.
The ex-Liberal Democrat councillor, who was dropped by the party after the allegations first came to light two years ago, will be sentenced next month.
The offences took place between January 2, 2008, and June 15, 2010, around the time he was re-training for a new career as a drugs rehabilitation counsellor in prisons.
They include failing to declare £18,000 in Premium Bonds, 123 shares in a Barclays premium account and rental income from a lodger.
He also failed to notify the council he was receiving councillor's allowance after being elected in May 2010.
He has since repaid the council in full.
Today's hearing came a month after Dennen's first court appearance.
Although he tried to plead guilty to all charges then, magistrates raised concerns that his written submission supposedly admitting his guilt was not unequivocal.
The case was adjourned while he sought legal advice.
Since then, Dennen stood as an independent candidate in last month's local elections, but lost his Canbury ward seat after polling just 188 votes, finishing in last place.
After his plea was accepted today, Dennen was granted unconditional bail and told to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on July 4 for sentence.
The maximum sentence for the offence is six weeks' custody.
After the hearing, Dennen said he would not be making a comment at this time.
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