£7,000 in benefits sandwich swindle

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A WOMAN dishonestly obtained almost £7,000 in benefits.

Gayle Robinson initially qualified for council tax and housing benefits because she only did a certain amount of hours at a sandwich bar.

Her position changed when she got a job at a care home and working longer hours.

The 43-year-old, who was living in Fenber Avenue, South Shore, at the time and has now moved to Hoyke, Scotland, has been ordered to do a 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £500 costs.

She had pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to give prompt notification of a change in circumstances.

Tom Lord, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court on behalf of Blackpool Council, said the amount paid out totalled £6,962.

The offences covered a period from March 2008 to June 2009.

The council reviewed Robinson’s claims in May 2009.

She was repeatedly sent review forms.

The council had no notice on their records of a change in her circumstances.

The defendant said at the time she had been having quite a lot of problems and had buried her head in the sand. She apologised, saying it had been quite a significant mistake.

Richard Hunt, defending, said: “She is willing to pay it back. She is working and lives with her boyfriend who is also working”.

Judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, told her “Your crime was failing to tell the authorities when you ceased to be entitled to the benefits. That is a serious matter.”

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