Benefits cheat overpaid by £9,000 in Mansfield

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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A Mansfield woman dishonestly claimed more than £9,000 in benefits while living with her husband, a court has heard.

Dawn Lesley Wood, 59, of Ordsall Close, admitted failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about a change of circumstances which would affect her entitlement to income support, housing benefit and Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Chloe Griggs, prosecuting, said the DWP contacted Mansfield District Council to launch a joint investigation because they believed she was living with her husband Ivan Wood.

She was overpaid a total of £9,235 between April 2013 and May 2015.

“The claim was made on the grounds that she lived alone, was incapable of work and that she had no other income,” said Miss Griggs.

The court heard their 20-year marriage ended because of difficulties with Mr Wood’s children from a previous relationship in 2010, but, after a period of separation he moved back to the Mansfield area and her home.

Sarah Neale, mitigating, said: “There is a lengthy paper trail that links the two together. There are joint holidays and monies being transferred.

“There has been no clear break between the two of them.”

“The original interview took place on May 9 2015 so this has been hanging over her for over a year. It has caused her great emotional distress. She has considered suicide because of this.

“She has probably punished herself significantly more then the courts can.”

She said Wood had been repaying what she owed at £30 a month.

She was given a three-month community order with a curfew from 7pm to 6am, restricting her to her own address and her mother’s address in Kirkby.

She must also pay £40 costs and a victim surcharge of £60.