Ex-pub landlord locked up after false benefit claims

12:10 15 January 2013

A former pub landlord has been jailed for a year after pocketing more than £17,000 intended for a dead man.

Stephen Sussams, of Marston Way, Norbury, received the money after it was paid into the deceased’s bank account, which he had access to as the deceased’s carer.

The 59-year-old, who ran the Royal Dart Hotel in Devon, also illegally claimed more than £14,000 in housing and council tax benefit after failing to tell the council he was living with his civil partner, Croydon Council said.

He was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Friday to eight months in jail after being convicted in December of one count of theft, and four months for dishonestly making a false statement or representation to run consecutively.

He was also handed four month sentences after he was convicted of three counts of fraud by failing to disclose information, to run concurrently.

The Royal Dart was known for its £125 champagne and truffle beefburger, said to be among the most expensive burgers in the world.

Croydon Council said it has launched confiscation proceedings against Sussams and will examine his assets to see what he gained.

Deputy leader, Cllr Dudley Mead, said: “I applaud the council’s investigators for bringing this complicated case to a successful conclusion.

“It serves as a clear warning that those who seek to cheat the benefits system and defraud honest taxpayers out of hard-earned money should know that the council and the courts will punish them with the maximum penalty available.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
A whopping £25million worth of cocaine was hidden in plastic bananas, among real fruit (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

A massive haul of cocaine, thought to be worth £25million, was found by Met police officers hidden in plastic bananas shipped over from Columbia.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:41
The orginal tweets in which @MPSinthesky made their reply to @anyabokepublic [Image from Twitter]

A Twitter user has accused the Met Police of encouraging their 91,000 Twitter followers to bully her.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:56
The Job Centre at 120-122 Deptford High Street in its original incarnation in 2008. Although the pub keeps the name, it has not kept the distinctive green and yellow sign [Photo from Google StreetView]

Campaigners have criticised a ‘poor taste’ pub that has opened in a disused Job Centre on Deptford High Street – and kept the name.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Take our quiz and see how much you know about the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Do you know SW19 like the back of your hand? From Henman Hill to Centre Court, Fred Perry to Andy Murray? Well then you should ace our Wimbledon quiz:

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
Instead of actually going to a park, take our quiz about them... (Picture: Warrick Page/Getty Images)

Think-Kew have got what it takes?

Read more