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26 Dec 2018

Benefit fraudster told council she was single

A benefit cheat illegally pocketed more than £10,000 after telling a council she was single.

Laura Iredale claimed the housing benefit for more than two years from Newcastle City Council.

The 30-year-old has now been ordered to wear an electronic tag after she admitted benefit fraud.

North Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard Iredale made her claim when she was single and working part-time.

Prosecutor Ami Dodd said: "After claiming the housing benefit she failed to declare her partner had moved in with her and that she was in full-time employment. The claim was not fraudulent from the outset but the failure to declare put it in that category."

In total, £10,287 was illegally claimed between 2014 and 2016.

The court heard Iredale's relationship had "substantial up and downs" at the start but that they had now married.

Prosecutors said Iredale recognised "the point" they had agreed to marry was when she should have amended her claim, with her partner stopping at least one night a week.

The court heard Iredale, of Warwick Road, Newcastle, is now repaying the cash to the council.

Her solicitor added: "She's never been in trouble previous and I'm fairly sure she won't be in trouble in the future."

District Judge Bernard Beggley handed Iredale a six month curfew. She was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £85 charge.

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