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16 Jun 2013

Another Cornwall benefit thief gets conditional discharge

A woman from Helston has been given a 12 month conditional discharge by Truro Magistrates after being found guilty of housing benefit fraud totalling £5,497.

Katey Jane initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of benefit fraud at Truro Magistrates Court on Friday 26 April.

The charges included failing to promptly report to Cornwall Council that she was in receipt of increased earnings and increased awards of Tax Credits.

The case was then adjourned for a trial to take place at Truro Magistrates Court on 12 June.

After hearing the facts of the case and evidence from witnesses, the Bench found Miss Jane guilty of both offences of failing to promptly notify Cornwall Council of increases in earnings and increases in tax credits and sentenced her to a 12 month conditional discharge. She was also ordered to pay £500 towards the Council’s investigation and legal costs.

The overpaid benefits are being recovered from Miss Jane by Cornwall Council separately from this Court action

Cornwall magistrates have form for giving benefit thieves conditional discharges. This one didn't even plead guilty.

The court action looks pretty pointless from the council's point of view, apart from the publicity it caused. 

No meaningful punishment, and no confiscation order. 

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