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Man claims he did not know it was illegal for partner to claim benefits whilst he worked two jobs

A Waringstown man has been told by a judge that it is illegal for his partner to claiming benefits, whilst he worked two jobs.

The 25-year-old stated in court: “I genuinely did not know it was illegal”.

Jordan Topping, of Churchill Place, appeared for deferred sentencing on possession of a blade in a public place at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “From the report, Mr Topping now has two jobs; he has started his own business and works full time.

“However, there is a problem, his partner is claiming benefits, she cannot do that whilst he is working two jobs it is illegal”.

She added: “I am sure that there are other things such as child credit which would be available to her”.

Speaking from the dock, the defendant stated: “I genuinely did not know it was illegal”.

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney said that Topping had instructed him that this would be changed straight away.

He stated: “This has been a clear year for my client, one of his big problems was alcohol he has addressed this through a course of anti-abuse tablets.

“He has in this period been able to hold down an occupation and his child has since turned one”.

Judge Kelly said: “This was a serious enough incident in itself, up to that time you showed the propensity for a number of offences, in particular for those of dishonesty.

“It is not good reading from the report, that this has not stopped”.

She added: “However, I will give you credit for all the work you have done so far, you have done all I had asked of you and I will deal with you accordingly”.

Topping was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for two years.

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