Woman falsely claimed benefits

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A WOMAN from Bestwood Village has pleaded guilty to falsely claiming almost £4,500 in benefits.

Tia Young (27), of St Albans Road, was hauled before Nottingham Magistrates Court where she admitted two charges of providing information she knew was false in order to obtain benefits.

The court heard she claimed housing benefit and council-tax benefit from Gedling Borough Council — both for her privately-rented property on High Main Drive, Bestwood Village and also for her home on St Albans Road.

Young was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community work over the next 12 months and pay £260 towards prosecution costs.

The court heard she submitted claim forms to the council on September 14 2009 and March 12 last year.

She failed to declare on both that her partner was living with her, which would have made her ineligible for the benefits.

Investigators linked her partner to living at the same address.

Because of to her false declarations, Young fraudulently received housing benefit of £3,689.18 and council-tax benefit of £729.48 — a total of £4,418.66 which she will now have to repay to the council.

When passing sentence, magistrates said they took benefit fraud very seriously, which was why they had decided to give her a medium community-penalty order.

Coun John Clarke (Lab), lead member for finance and performance and leader of Gedling Council, backed the sentence handed down.

He said: “I hope this case sends out a clear message that if you are falsely claiming benefits, then you will be caught and could be fined or sentenced for your offences.”

Residents can report cases of suspected benefit-fraud by telephoning the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 85 44 40.

All calls are in strictest confidence, meaning that callers can provide information anonymously.