Woman cleared in fraud case

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A WOMAN has been cleared of allegations she committed benefit fraud by failing to declare she was living with her partner.

Samantha Parkinson told a Preston Crown Court jury the pair had not shared a common household prior to a date in November 2008 when they had moved in together and she had contacted the DWP.

But prosecutors insisted they had evidence which proved she had lived with the man for some time.

The 26-year-old, of Morland Avenue, Wesham, was found not guilty on all three charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.

The court heard she was paid income support on the basis she was a single parent with no other income.

And she told the jury in evidence “I have never had a penny off him”.

She said he had never been or wanted to be with her permanently.

She explained she had opened a bank account in her name for him to use for his wages because he said he was unable to get credit.

Split

The defendant added that they had split up in April 2009.

The trial had involved accusations relating to her income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

One charge related to income support, between dates in October 2006 and November 2008.

Another involved housing benefit and covered a period between April 2007 and November 2008.

The third charge was regarding council tax benefit and covered dates between April 2007 and November 2008. During her trial, the jury were told how she was sent a letter in 2008, inviting her to attend an interview about her benefits.

She then went on to inform the department she was living with her partner the following month.

It was alleged in court they had been living together for a while before while he was working as a labourer with wages being paid into a bank account in her name.

Martin Reid, prosecuting, claimed the defendant had not informed the authorities she was maintaining a common household with her partner at a time when she was claiming benefits and denied living with anyone when first spoken to.

He added: “Just a few days later she contacted the DWP to say she was now living with him. We say they were living together long before that and had failed to notify the authorities.”