There may be fewer and fewer jobs where the general public have a high level of respect for these days but across the United Kingdom, you would say that there is still a high level of respect for people who have served time in the Armed Forces. Even in the build-up to the General Election where many people are concerned about the impact that could be made on their life after the poll, there is a sense of communal spirit about people looking to support the Army and ex-service men. There is a great level of debate about the need for the Army and Trident in the UK, but while many people would be happy to see the end of nuclear arms being held in the UK or the end of the troops being deployed abroad, the complaints are levied at the politicians, not the soldiers or people involved with the Armed Forces.
This means that when someone who has been trading on the goodwill of the Army is found guilty of a crime, there can be a split of opinion and emotion. Some people will feel that they shouldn’t be punished as much as the normal person, and that there may be mitigating circumstances behind their actions. However, there are also people that believe these people should be holding themselves to a higher code and in letting people down; they are doing a great disservice to the people that they served alongside.
A Huge sum of Money had been received by Mabb
This is why there has been a high level of debate regarding the case of Martin Mabb, who has been sentenced to 10 months in prison after stealing £75,000 in benefits. This was a fraud that span 10 years and after a lengthy investigation, investigators from the local council and officers from the SWP, believed that they found that Mabb had failed to admit or declare the full extent of his Armed Forces pension and a pension provided by the local authority. Mabb is a former Army Officer and he was accused of withholding this information and of hiding the bank account that this money was paid into, in order to ensure that his crime wasn’t detected.
At one point during his claim, Mabb received a payment of £30,700 as a lump sum from the Armed Forces for a pension payment but he made no attempt to inform the authorities of this money, nor did he try to support himself financially with the use of this money. Mabb instead continued to apply for benefits in the form of Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Income Support and even Employment Support Allowance. Mabb was receiving a considerable amount of income from these different sources until the fraud was uncovered by council investigators.
Mabb received Leniency due to his Army Background
Mabb had been discharged from the Army for medical reasons and alongside pleading guilty at an early stage, he also issued a public apology about his actions which defrauded the council and the Department for Work and Pensions. In sentencing Mabb, Recorder Argyle, stated; “The overpayment of £75,000, because of Mr Mabb’s dishonesty, was a substantial amount. There is widespread concern about such frauds and the starting point for sentencing in this matter is one year in custody, but the circumstances of this case dictates a sentence of 18 months. However, given Mr Mabb’s military service and early guilty plea this sentence can be reduced to 10 months in custody.”
A spokesperson for the local council said; “This is a very regrettable affair; that a man who once served his country in an exemplary manner has gone on to abuse its systems in such a dishonest, lengthy and costly way. This was deliberate targeting of the benefits system and Mr Mabb set out to steal as much money as he could from honest tax payers, knowing full well he was not entitled to it.”
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.