Woman in court over £11,000 benefit fraud

A 63-year-old woman was in court for an £11,000 benefit fraud.

Marie Lawson was overpaid £11,169 over a two-year period between May 2014 and March 2016.

Lawson claimed employment support allowance for herself and her husband from October 2013.

The benefits were paid out on the condition that she did not work more than 16 hours per week.

Lawson, however, did not tell the Department for Work and Pensions when she started regularly working beyond that limit.

Lawson admitted failing to notify the authorities of a change in circumstances affecting benefits.

 

She has already repaid almost £5,700 to the government.

She told investigators she was offered more hours and was concerned she would be sacked if she did not take them.

Duncan McReddie, defending, said,

For a woman who has lived a law-abiding life this is a very difficult process.

“The circumstances leading up to the offence are a combination of events beyond her control.

“She accepts a failure on her part to act as she should have done. She felt very much under pressure at the time.”

Judge Peter Armstrong told Lawson, “I have to sentence you for benefit fraud which went on over a period of about two years.

“I think you’d simply got used to the money. You were obviously well thought of by your employer who wanted you to work even more. You were tempted to do that and did so.

“When you were challenged about these matters you made full admissions. You pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity. You have no previous convictions.

“Sadly you’ve lost your good character but I take very much into account the genuine remorse that you’ve expressed for this offending.”

Lawson received a one-year community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work.

 

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