Fraudster pays back £20k benefit claim

Blackpool Magistrates court

Blackpool Magistrates court

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A woman illegally claimed almost £20,000 in benefits when she failed to reveal she had savings.

Barbara Hollinshead, 63, of Spencer Court, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to eight offences of dishonestly making a false statement.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said the offences took place between December 2008 and April 2012 and Hollinshead’s benefit claims had been fraudulent from the outset.

She had illegally claimed almost £20,000 in employment support allowance, Jobseekers allowance, plus housing and council tax benefits when she did not declare the full extent of her savings.

Kathryn Jamieson-Sinclair, defending, said Hollinshead had repaid the money she owed in full.

Hollinshead was sentenced to two weeks’ prison suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 60 hours’ unpaid work for the community.

She was also told to pay £85 costs plus £80 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.