22 Apr 2013

Trowbridge benefit cheat broke curfew

Trowbridge benefit cheat Mary Tapping, who edits a diocese magazine, was fined £65 for breaching her curfew when she appeared at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court in Chippenham.

Tapping, 64, from Hilperton, who works on Sarum Link, based in Salisbury, was given a three-month electronically tagged curfew and a 12-month community order, on March 19, for falsely claiming benefits between February 2009 and November 2011.

Staff from G4S, who oversee the tagging, came to install monitoring equipment on March 20 and 21 but she wasn’t home, although it was past her 7.30pm curfew.

Raymond Tan, defending, said:
Mrs Tapping accepts she was in breach but we had lodged an appeal to suspend the curfew which she thought would be successful. From March 22 on, she has complied and suffered great inconvenience to her job.
Tapping’s application to suspend the curfew until her appeal was rejected by Swindon Crown Court last Monday.

Between February 2009 and November 2011, Tapping was overpaid £4,757.51 in council tax benefit and £5,635.88 pension credit after failing to notify DWP or Wiltshire Council that her husband had been working since 2009 earning £30,000 per year.

Magistrates revoked her three-month curfew on Tuesday and replaced it with a four-month curfew. She is expected to appear at Swindon Crown Court on Wednesday to appeal her original sentence.

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