[2004] EWCA Crim 2755

The sentencing guidelines for benefits fraud cases in R. v Stewart (Livingstone) [1987] 1 W.L.R. 559 required no revision, save that they needed updating to take account of inflation. Where imprisonment was necessary, short terms of up to about 9 to 12 months would usually be sufficient in a contested case where the over-payment of benefits claimed was less than £20,000. In addition, in passing sentence, the court was not entitled to take into account other, unadmitted offences where an offender had been convicted on sample counts.

CA (Crim Div) (Auld LJ, Owen J, Hedley J)


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