18 May 2015

Care worker guilty of £18k benefit fraud

Keirderin Knight, 45, from Great Cornard, was overpaid more than £18,000 in housing and council tax benefit as a result of her failing to tell the authorities that she was working, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said Knight had also failed to mention she had capital in excess of the amount allowed and had a financial interest in a house.

Knight admitted three offences of dishonestly failing to notify a change in her circumstances and was given a 22-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

She was also placed under the supervision of the probation service for 12 months and ordered to attend a Women’s Emotional Wellbeing programme.

Sentencing her, Judge John Devaux said: “You kept information hidden from those who needed to know it so they could decide if you were entitled to benefits and what amount.”

Miss Shirley told the court that Knight had paid back £1,000 of the overpayment and was paying the rest back at £200 a month.

She said Knight’s claim for benefits was not fraudulent from the outset.

She said investigators had discovered from bank statements that “significant” credits of £21,000 and £11,000 had been paid into Knight’s account and that she had a £168,000 joint mortgage with her partner for a property jointly owned with him.

Archie McKay, for Knight, said his client had suffered from depression and had only been earning £12,000pa and was currently repaying £200 a month of the overpayment out of her £1,000-a-month salary.


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