13 Nov 2015

Light sentence for benefit thief

An Asfordby woman must pay back more than £13,000 after being found guilty of benefit fraud offences.

Christine Gascoigne, of Main Street, was convicted of two charges of knowingly failing to promptly report changes in her circumstances on her claims for housing benefit and council tax benefit to Melton Council and two charges of making a false statement and knowingly failing to promptly report changes in her circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions, JobcentrePlus.

Gascoigne, who appeared in court on October 12, had failed to report she had capital in excess of the allowed levels in 2010 and 2011, which she had received from an inheritance and sale of inherited properties.

She was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the council costs of £2,826.50. She was also ordered to pay back the full £11,040.50 overpayment of housing and council tax benefit and £2,414.34 income support which she fraudulently obtained from the council and the Department for Work and Pensions.


Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should have to pay back twice what they stole. They should not be eligible for any benefits until they have, and they should have to do some unpaid work every week until the debt to society is cleared.

That would be a deterrent.

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