Ingleton benefits fraudster sentenced

The Westmorland Gazette: Craven District Council paid benefits after false claim Craven District Council paid benefits after false claim

A 47-year-old woman from Ingleton has been ordered to carry out 80 hours work after admitting falsely claiming almost £9,000 in benefits.

Catherine Close claimed housing and council tax benefit from Craven District Council while living with her partner for over two years, Skipton magistrates heard.

Close admitted one charge of failing to notify the council of a change in her circumstances and two of producing a false document between May, 2011 and October, 2013.

She was investigated after attempting to buy the house she shared with her partner, Peter Boardman.

Lisa Shepherd, for the council, said it was discovered that Mr Boardman had shared the cottage since May, 2011, was in work and was contributing to the bills.

Since being found out, she had started repaying the amount overpaid, but still had £7,404 outstanding.

In mitigation, John Mewies said Close’s original benefit claim had been legitimate. Close, of Green Meadow Close, was handed a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work. She will also have to pay costs of £150 and victims surcharge of £60.

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