Housing-benefits woman had luxury ranch

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A WOMAN from Annesley Woodhouse, who claimed thousands of pounds’ worth of housing benefits without declaring she had inherited a luxury ranch in Portugal, has been sentenced to community service.

Ann Stimpson (50), of High Close, had been named in her father’s will as one of the executors of his villa, which includes a swimming pool, tennis court and olive groves.

But she claimed she was not aware her father owned the ranch.

Stimpson admitted dishonestly receiving between £5,000 and £6,000 from Ashfield District Council between Matrch 2006 and July 2008.

She pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to declare a capital asset. Four other charges that she originally faced have been ordered to lie on the file.

She was required to declare she had assets including any properties abroad, said Christopher Lowe (prosecuting) at Nottingham Crown Court.

She had also not declared she was a shareholder in private companies and also the registered keeper of a property in Burnley.

The court heard she was of previous good character.

Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, said the court proceedings had taken a long time.

In light of the sum involved and the fact the company shares had a nominal value without income, it was possible to impose a one-year community order with unpaid work.