Benefits cheat sentenced

A WOMAN who falsely claimed more than £13,500 in benefits has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th October 2013, 12:04 pm

Janet Harland (56), of Kirklington Road, Rainworth, failed to declare she was sharing her home with her husband while collecting jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit as a single person.

A surveillance operation was carried out as part of a joint investigation by Newark and Sherwood District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

When interviewed, Harland initially tried to mislead investigators before admitting that her husband had been living with her since his return from Greece in July 2011.

Harland obtained a total of £13,640.85, including jobseeker’s allowance of £5,704.29, housing benefit of £6,225 and council tax benefit totalling £1,711.56 between July 2011 and March 2013, which she must repay in full.

Harland admitted two charges of failing to report a change of circumstances and one charge of making a false statement when she appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

She was sentenced to an 18-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work requirement.

Following the case, council staff pledged to continue to prosecute those who abuse the benefits system.