WORLD NEWS TOMORROW : A convicted rapist who won millions on the lottery has been sentenced to nine months in prison for fraudulently claiming around £13,000 in benefits. Despite banking £5 million in September 2009, Edward Putman kept applying for his housing benefit and income support.The 47-year-old, from Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, even sent letters to the Department for Work and Pensions and his local council claiming he was so broke he could not afford to eat.
But, in reality, Putman was enjoying his millions, buying a new house and two sports cars. He pleaded guilty to two counts of benefit fraud. The judge, Mr Justice Bright QC, told Putman: “You were motivated by greed on a scale which frankly defies belief, especially in an economic climate where the welfare budget is being cut and those who are entitled to benefit are struggling to make ends meet.”
The court heard that Putman began receiving income support in 2000 claiming he was incapacitated by anxiety issues but he failed to tell the authorities that his conditions had changed. When he failed to turn up to a medical check his benefits were stopped.
In July 2010, just 10 months after his lottery win, Putman wrote to the DWP and Dacorum Borough Council begging them to reinstate his benefits.He claimed he had not attended the medical examination because he was too ill.
“I didn’t know whether I would still be alive,” he wrote. ” I’m on the brink of being evicted.” He claimed he was being forced to survive on handouts from family and friends. The court heard that his benefits were then reinstated and were also back-dated to January 2010.But he raised suspicions in October 2010 when he asked the authorities if he could buy his council house, telling them he had the £84,000 needed to buy it in cash.
St Albans Crown Court heard he claimed a total of £4,809.18 from Dacorum Borough Council between September 2009 and October 2010, and £38,033.59 from the DWP between September 2009 and May last year.Putman has now paid back the money. In a statement released by his lawyers after the verdict he said: “I can only apologise for the offences I’ve committed.”