On Friday 6th November a jury at Leicester Crown Court found Gary Bush guilty of three offences of dishonestly failing to notify Melton Council of changes in his circumstances affecting his entitlement to claim council tax benefit. 

It was heard that Bush, a former Melton Borough Councillor, did not tell the council that between July 18, 2011 and January 31, 2012 he’d earned about £4,500 while working for the company ADT. He claimed this was an honest oversight on his part but the prosecution suggested his actions were deliberate. The jury heard that Bush has not told the council he had received a pension income from the Ministry and Defence, which included a lump sum of £20,000 as well as a monthly income of about £430. 

Simon Hunka, prosecuting, told the jury that it was some 18 months later that Bush told the council about his monthly pension income, but also made no mention about the lump sum, suggesting Bush intentionally hadn’t disclosed this information because it would have shown he had assets over £16,000 meaning he would not have been entitled to the council benefit tax.

Mr Hunka said: “The defendant had to tell lie after lie to cover his tracks, He was saying he had less money than he truly had but the truth caught up with him.”

Bush was sentenced to 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay costs of nearly £7,000.

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