A 74-year-old woman who was accused of a £21,000 benefit fraud has been disowned by her family members.
Josephine Robinson was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and pay £170 costs.
Magistrates’ chairman Toby Prosser said, “It was close to custody. It was a serious amount of money you were overpaid.”
Robinson admitted failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions between 2012 and June 2016 that she lived as a married couple and, after her husband’s death, failed to declare income from an occupational pension affecting her entitlement to Pension Credit.
Simon Sargent, defending, said Robinson was embarrassed, ashamed and deeply regretted her actions.
A probation officer said Robinson’s sons had disowned her and she felt extremely lonely.