Lily Wildman

Suspended sentence imposed for £10,000 Covid-19 fraud: Lily Wildman defends

On 27 July 2022 Mr Buckley appeared before York Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to one offence of Fraud by False Representation (contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006).

Mr Buckley was prosecuted by Ryedale District Council for fraudulently claiming a Covid-19 business grant of £10,000. Mr Buckley applied for a business grant on 30 March 2020 despite his lease of the business premises having expired in February 2020. As part of an online application for the business grant, Mr Buckley made representations that his business was still operational and owing to this Mr Buckley was granted £10,000 to help keep his business afloat during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mitigating on Mr Buckley’s behalf, Miss Wildman submitted that this was a spontaneous, opportunistic mistake. Whilst it was accepted that Mr Buckley made a false representation, it was submitted that owing to the economic crisis there was a hope that at a later stage Mr Buckley’s business could become operational again. Miss Wildman made representations that the starting point of immediate custody should not be imposed and that Deputy District Judge Hayes should suspend any term of imprisonment.

Deputy District Judge Hayes sentenced Mr Buckley to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months which includes 200 hours of unpaid work. Mr Buckley was also sentenced to pay the costs of the Ryedale Council’s Prosecution of over £2,000.

Passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Hayes noted:

“It certainly was an offence motivated by personal gain, fraudulent activity at a time when the whole purpose behind this grant system was to assist legitimate businesses that were still in operation.”

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Lily Wildman is in her second six months of pupillage at Park Square Barristers and practices primarily in criminal law. During her pupillage Lily has gained experience prosecuting and defending across a range of criminal matters including sexual assault and fraud.


Contact Lily’s clerks

Andrew Thornton on 0113 213 5202

Gina Hawkins on 0113 213 5205

Rebecca Wilson on 0113 213 5203

Hannah Dempsey on 0113 213 5211

Robyn Nichol on 0113 213 5253