12 Jun 2014

Unpaid work for serial benefit thief

A woman claimed £19,000 benefits for two non-existent children and for a real child who was not eligible. (h/t Dave)

Susan Finney, 39, from Coedpoeth, Wrexham, said she earned less than she actually did, and failed to declare she had a partner.

Finney pleaded guilty to making false representations and was given an eight-month suspended jail term.

Mold Crown Court heard it was the fourth time in eight years she had appeared for dishonesty offences. She had a previous conviction for benefit fraud and was on a suspended sentence when some of the current offences were carried out.

Prosecuting, Frances Willmott said Finney had been overpaid in benefits by £30,800 but if she had made an honest claim she would have been entitled to around £11,000, which meant the actual amount she was overpaid was about £19,000.

Finney was ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work.

Judge Niclas Parry said the sentence was being suspended because she was in work and was able to continue to pay back the overpayment.

Defending, Paul Smith said the defendant had overcome alcohol and other issues in her life and was a carer for people with dementia who was well thought of. He said she had made positive changes to her life and was already making repayments.

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