HUDDERSFIELD boxer Brendan Halford can consider himself very lucky to have been spared jail for benefit fraud offences.
He conned Kirklees Council out of almost £9,000 of housing benefit and he already had two previous convictions for fraud and deception.
In 2002 he was given a 42-month prison sentence after police found 600 cloned credit cards at his home.
He has now claimed to be a reformed character and says he had only committed the benefit fraud to support his 10-year-old daughter.
Families struggling to make ends meet and who do without rather than resorting to crime will no doubt treat such mitigation with derision.
Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime. It costs the taxpayers vast sums of money each year – money that could otherwise do so much good for communities.