A young mother has been jailed for benefit fraud – after claiming she lived alone with her baby.
Lisa Clare Davies, 26, made claims for Income Support, Housing Benefit, and Jobseeker's Allowance totalling more than £16,000. She failed to mention that she was in fact living with her partner, who at the time was working.
The defendant, from Maryport, entered guilty pleas to three offences, representing the three benefits, and was jailed by magistrates for 12 weeks.
The court, in Workington, was told how the claim she made for those benefits in both April and July 2012 was fraudulent from the outset. This was because the defendant failed to declare that she was living with a working partner at the time.
Officials from the DWP discovered that she was living with her partner, a mechanic called Jamie Robertson, from shortly after the birth of her child. But she failed to declare this on any of her claim forms, the court heard.
Despite the evidence that he was living with her which was gathered by DWP investigators, she claimed their relationship had been “off and on” – although she admitted they had lived together even before her claim was lodged.
In total, the overpayment of benefits came to more than £16,000, and included overpayment of Income Support totalling £6,733; and an overpayment of Housing Benefit of £7,524.
Passing sentence, magistrates remarked that the defendant’s claim was dishonest from the start and persisted over a long period. The jail term was reduced, however, because of Davies’ guilty pleas.