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16 Oct 2014

Another "single" parent

A Knowsley benefits cheat who falsely claimed more than £76k in benefits has pleaded guilty.

Stephanie Tomlinson, 49, falsely claimed three different types of state benefits for seven years – by pretending to be a single parent.

An investigation by Knowsley Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found that Ms Tomlinson was claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support benefit between 2005 and 2012.

She pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to four counts of making a false statement or declaration to obtain benefits.

The judge at sentenced Tomlinson to an eight month custodial sentence, concurrent on each count, suspended for two years.

Ms Tomlinson told benefits staff that she was single, lived with her son and that her only income was from benefits.

But it emerged that she lived with a partner who was in work.

The judge said that she only avoided jail because she would have been entitled to £30,000 over the seven year period if she had applied honestly, and also took into account her family circumstances.

The judge also added that “there was no evidence of her using the money to sustain a high level of living.”

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