Benefits fraud woman looked after siblings

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A WOMAN who looked after her young siblings after the death of her mother wept in the dock as a court was told she had illegally claimed more than £9,000 in benefits.

Claire Prince, 29, of Kentmere Drive, Mereside, admitted three offences of failing to notify a change in circumstances between February 2010 and January 2012.

She was sentenced to do 180 hours’ unpaid work for the community and pay £60 costs at Blackpool magistrates.

Lee Petrak, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said Prince had failed to reveal she was living with a man.

The magistrates court heard she had illegally claimed £9,378 in housing, council tax and income support benefits.

David Charnley, defending, said Prince’s mother had died a couple of years ago.

Prince not only cared for her own three children, but for a younger brother and sister.

Mr Charnley said the defendant was sorry for her actions.

He added: “Everything got too much for her. She should have told the authorities, but she did not and then put it to the back of her mind.

“She has shown genuine remorse.”

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