Benefit cheats who tried to con council tax payers out of nearly £50,000 have had their comeuppance at the hands of the law.
In the last few weeks, Cornwall Council have prosecuted five residents, one of whom had committed housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud to the tune of more than £17,000.
The news comes as it was revealed that in the last financial year, the authority mounted 123 prosecutions, identifying £2.1 million of wrongly claimed housing and council tax benefit.
A spokesman for the council's benefit fraud team said the work would continue on behalf of all council tax payers and legitimate claimants.
"Fraud poses a significant problem to public and private organisations," he said.
"To individuals and to the country as a whole. It is estimated that each year £73 billion is lost to fraud, which means approximately £1,460 for every adult in the country, of which the losses incurred by local government exceed £2.2 billion a year."
The spokesman said all councils had a statutory responsibility to protect public funds and Cornwall Council took this duty "extremely seriously".
"The main focus is to prevent fraud entering the benefit system, investigate and detect fraud already within the system, deter individuals from committing fraud and to prosecute offenders.
"Offenders who are taken to court and found guilty will also have the burden of a criminal record."
According to information provided by the benefits fraud team, in total 284 sanctions were administered split into 112 formal cautions, 49 administrative penalties and 123 prosecutions.
One case alone amounted to a fraud of almost £38,000.
In the latest raft of prosecutions to be taken to court, a man from Penzance was fined £385 for a housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud totalling £11,520.
Gary Gwennap, 43, of High Street, admitted the two counts of benefit fraud and failing to promptly report that he was in paid employment when he appeared before magistrates at Truro. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards the council's investigation and legal costs.
A woman from Helston has received a 12-month Community Order of 120 hours unpaid work for a housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud totalling £17,073.
Vanessa Slater, 57, of Meneage Parc, pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court to two counts of benefit fraud of failing to promptly report to Cornwall Council that she was in receipt of increased earnings.
Ms Slater was also ordered to pay £728 towards the council's investigation and legal costs.
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said the overpaid benefits were being recovered in a separate court action.
Truro City are not expected to announce their new managerial set-up until the club knows what level they will be playing at next season.
And the club, which is still in administration, faces a race against time to agree a CVA with its creditors ahead of the Conference annual meeting on June 8.
A provisional date for the CVA meeting has been set for Wednesday June 5, just three days before the Conference meeting.
Club chairman Pete Masters said yesterday there were still three "hard core" creditors, owed around some £70,000, who had still to agree to the CVA.
Without that agreement City, who finished bottom of Blue Square Bet South, face a drop of up to three leagues to the Premier Division of the Western League.
And until the situation is clearer the club are in a difficult position as they try to assemble a competitive squad and managerial set-up for the new campaign.
The club is looking for a successor to Lee Hodges, who was told earlier this month that he would not be offered a new contract, and denied this week that head of football development, Steve Massey, would take charge, assisted by another former City boss Graeme Kirkup who is assistant manager to Nicky Marker at Ivybridge Town.
And another former City favourite Glynn Hooper, who has just stepped down as manager at Newquay, revealed that he had been approached about a possible coaching role at Treyew.
But with all the uncertainty surrounding what league City will be playing in next season, and the amount of travelling that will be involved, Hooper will not be rushing into any decision.
Masters said that Massey had been very busy talking to a number of players about next season.
There will be a lot of new players," he said. "But no firm decisions have yet been made, though contracts have been drawn up. We have to be flexible."
But he did confirm "without doubt" that the club would still be playing at Treyew Road next season.
Players thought to be interesting City include the Helston strike pair of former City player Liam Eddy and Mark Goldsworthy, the Bodmin duo of Chris Luxton and Olly Brokenshire and Falmouth Tow keeper Jason Chapman, another former City player.
But one player who will definitely not be at Treyew next season is striker Andy Watkins, who has joined Bath City after a glittering City career of 295 games and 143 goals.
Cornwall's Sarah-Jane Boyd has won the 2013 English Women's Amateur Championship at Kings Norton, Worcestershire.
Boyd (pictured left) finished two strokes ahead of fellow England golf international Alex Peters with a total of two over par 290 after four rounds.
The 21-year-old 2012 Ladies British Open Amateur Strokeplay champion from Truro Golf Club held a five-shot advantage going into yesterday's fourth and final round following a morning level-par 72.
Boyd – also the 2012 South West Ladies champion – shot two-under 70 to take the halfway lead in the English women's amateur championship, while Devon's Emma Tayler fired the lowest score of the competition with 69 to soar to third on the overnight leader board.
Saunton's Tayler eventually finished joint tenth last night with 302.
Cornwall's Boyd and Devon's Tayler have both put amateur women's golf in their respective counties on the national map at Worcestershire this week.
Boyd's 290 consisted 73, 70, 72 and 75, while Tayler carded 77, 69, 80 and 76.
Cornwall are just one step away from a first County Championship final since 1999 but head coach Dave "Benji" Thomas knows it will be a hard one to take.
The Duchy face Hertfordshire at Camborne tomorrow but even a win might not be enough to book their place in the Twickenham final.
If Hertfordshire lose with two bonus points, they would top Bill Beaumont Cup Division One South.
Thomas said: "It will be hard and we will be up against it. They will be well drilled and we will have to be on top of our game on Saturday without question.
"We can win the game and still not go through. If they score four tries and we beat them by less than seven, it would make us level on points but they would go through with a better points difference.
"All we can do is go out to win the game and win well. One of the biggest pluses in the two games we have played so far this year has been our defence – it has been awesome."
Cornwall's defence was certainly tested in the latter stages of a 23-17 victory in Kent last weekend.
Thomas said: "We conceded three tries at Gloucester and then two at Kent. In both games, it was just the odd mistake that enabled them to score at least one try in each game.
"We are looking at a watertight defence and we worked on that again in training this week.
"We had a bad spell in the second half on Saturday, playing against the wind and up the slope. But we pulled it back and the leaders in the side stood up.
"We scored the try and held on by our fingernails for the last eight minutes."
Hertfordshire are set to be without a number of their young Saracens players. However, Thomas, who will be without Fiji international Sam Matavesi, still expects a tough test.
He said: "Whatever team they put out are going to be formidable. They were the champions of England last season and they have to beat us to be able to go back and defend their title.
"Their side will still be based on a very strong Old Albanians side that is very strong. All the players in their side are playing a league or two above our Redruth and Launceston boys.
"We have lost Sam Matavesi as he will be playing for Fiji. We're disappointed he is not playing for us but we wish him the very best of luck.
"We will pick the same team as last week except Rhodri McAtee is on the wing for Tom Notman and Barry Chapman is in the back row in place of Sam."
Up to 100 Conservative backbenchers are expected to register their anger that the Government's plans for the next year do not include a law to enshrine David Cameron's pledge for an in-out vote by 2017.
Some 78 MPs have signed an amendment to the Queen's Speech, which sets out the coalition Government's legislative programme, making clear their frustration.
They include Richard Drax (South Dorset), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset), Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot), Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) and Sarah Wollaston (Totnes). The amendment states that signatories "regret that an EU referendum bill" was not included in the Queen's Speech. It came as, unexpectedly, David Cameron will today publish a draft bill aimed at writing into law his commitment. The Prime Minister's move will deepen coalition divisions over Europe, with the Liberal Democrat wing of the Government "nonplussed" about the plan. Foreign Secretary William Mr Hague said a Private Member's Bill was a "much more difficult route for legislation" than a Government Bill but insisted it meant there could be a vote in the House on the referendum policy. He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "There can't be, in a House without a Conservative majority, any certainty of passing legislation. There can be an effort to do so." Asked if he was relaxed about Tories voting in support of the amendment, Mr Hague said. "Yes, that remains the position and I must stress that this Bill doesn't alter that position. Its purpose is not to alter that position. It's to provide an opportunity."
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, has told the Western Morning News she supports the amendment and "any sensible efforts to pave the way to secure a referendum in the next Parliament".But Cornwall MP George Eustice, who leads a group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, said colleagues should "get behind" the Prime Minister, contending a "semantic argument" about timing is a "distraction".
Asked what he would do if given an in-out vote today, Mr Liddell-Grainger said: "I would come out. I'm sick to death with it. It's bankrupt. It's pushing us to do things we don't want to do. It's a dictatorship from Brussels."
Mr Cameron's plan is to renegotiate Britain's relationship and stage a referendum on the renewed deal if the Tories win the next election. But he is unable to bring forward government legislation to enact his pledge because of opposition from the Liberal Democrats.
As to whether the amendment would help or hinder Mr Cameron, Mr Liddell-Grainger said: "I don't think we really care. Our job as backbenchers is to represent the feelings of our constituents. And Bridgwater and West Somerset is sceptical – to various levels."
Mr Liddell-Grainger said he would rather a referendum this side of the election, or hold the two on the same day in 2015. He questioned whether a re-negotiation would work without a clear list of demands over powers to be repatriated, and a deadline for them to be delivered. He added: "I would love to renegotiate, but the history of the EU is that it does not like to renegotiate."
The vote is expected take place tomorrow, although Labour and Liberal Democrat opposition means it is certain to fail.
Conservative ministers have been told that they can abstain. At the weekend, Cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Philip Hammond said they would quit the EU if there was a vote today, but stressed that they supported Mr Cameron's bid to renegotiate.
Explaining her backing for the amendment, Mrs Murray said: "It doesn't matter what we promise. The public just don't believe us. I believe we should show the public we are absolutely determined to do this."
Given her concerns over the Common Fisheries Policy and the continuing crisis in the Eurozone, Mrs Murray, whose late husband was a fisherman, thought she would probably vote to quit the EU if a vote was held now.
On his blog, Mr Drax wrote the EU is a "huge elephant in the room, which simply won't go away". "It was always foolish of those who didn't want to discuss our future position on Europe to believe it would just conveniently be forgotten," he said. "The EU affects our sovereignty, our liberty and our future. I can't think of three more important topics for politicians to consider and debate, especially in our party."
He said Tory backbenchers were acting because of "lack of clarity, dragging of feet and general waffle from all political parties".
"Unprecedented times needed unprecedented action and I am confident that a large number of my colleagues will vote for this amendment," he went on. Mr Eustice, Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth and a former Press aide to the Prime Minister, said: "David Cameron set out exactly the right approach towards the EU in January. We should renegotiate our relationship with Europe and then have a referendum after. We now need to get behind him and knuckle down to winning the next election because without a Conservative victory nothing will change. Semantic argument about referendum timing is a distraction from the core task."
Meanwhile, Ed Miliband has come under pressure from his party's backbenches to pledge a referendum in its next manifesto. Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, former Europe minister, said: "I believe that it is the democratic right of the people to make that decision for themselves." Labour has ruled out a referendum now, but not in the future.
The Lib Dems have not backed the Conservative position. Leader Nick Clegg has said a vote in the next Parliament was "not in the national interest", and would create uncertainty that spooks business.