Edwinstowe benefits cheat to pay cash back

An Edwinstowe woman who was overpaid more than £5,600 in housing and council tax benefits while failing to declare a change in her circumstances has been sentenced by magistrates.

Margaret Jacobson (58) of Old Station Yard, Occupation Lane received £5,612.69 in benefits that she was not entitled to between October 2011 and March 2013.

She pleaded guilty to failing to declare income from paid employment with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - where she worked as a staff counsellor - and income received from sub-tenants.

She was sentenced at Mansfield Magistrates Court to a two-month Community Order with a curfew from 8pm to 6am.

She must also pay back the overpaid benefits, make a £200 contribution to court costs and pay a victim surcharge of £60.

Phil Ward, Newark and Sherwood District Council business manager for revenues and benefits, said: “The benefits system exists to help people who are not in a position to help themselves financially.”

“Unfortunately the system is at times abused, but it is always incumbent on the council and its partners to prosecute those who abuse the system, and we will continue to do so.”