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15 Dec 2014

Tax credit thief mother escapes jail

A mother has been spared jail after she cheated the taxpayer out of more than £30,000 by lying about her income and personal circumstances.

Beautician Rebecca Eddishaw was given a chance after a court heard the likely effect of prison would be considerable on her five-year-old daughter.

Thirty-year-old Eddishaw, of Spring Court, Farnsfield, failed to tell HMRC that she had income from renting out two properties in Arnold when claiming tax credits.

Between 2009 and 2013, she collected a higher rate of tax credit and was overpaid by almost £16,941. In addition, she failed to declare any earnings from her properties, meaning she avoided paying more than £13,797 in tax.

Eddishaw was handed an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to three charges at an earlier hearing. She was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

A proceeds of crime investigation will be mentioned at court on June 23 next year.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Stokes QC told Eddishaw, who was of positive previous good character, that it was sustained fraud over five years.

"The sole reason I am suspending this sentence is because you are the single carer of your five-year-old daughter."

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