Local newspaper photographer jailed for £80,000 benefit fraud

A local newspaper photographer has been jailed for eight months after claiming more than £80,000 in benefits while working for newspapers in Somerset.

Thisiscornwall.co.uk reports that photographer Steve Monk claimed incapacity benefit for nine years ‘during which he was hard at work doing wedding snaps and taking pictures for a string of local papers in Somerset”.

A court was told last week the 50-year-old suffered a genuine injury in 1994 but continue to claim benefits after returning to work.

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According to the report, his solicitor Patrick Mason told Exeter Crown Court:

He is riddled with guilt and shame and with the embarrassment he has brought to his family. He was only trying to make ends meet and not indulging in a luxurious lifestyle. It is not as if he had created any fictitious children or anything like that.

He is a self-employed photographer of considerable talent who tells me he wants to go and work in Spain as a wedding photographer, where there is apparently great demand.

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