Ilfracombe benefit cheat receives a suspended custodial sentence
A BENEFITS cheat who dishonestly claimed just over £17,000 has been given a suspended custodial sentence.
Amanda Small, 25, of Flat 5, Holly House, Avenue Road, Ilfracombe, was convicted at an earlier hearing of three offences.
These were making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions to obtain benefit and dishonestly failing to tell the department that she was maintaining a house with Lee Cox in order to gain income support.
She was also convicted of failing to tell North Devon Council that she was maintaining a house with Mr Cox in order to gain housing benefit and council tax benefit.
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Her cases were adjourned for a pre-sentence report.
On Tuesday North Devon Magistrates' heard she initially claimed income support from March 15, 2010 to January 5, 2012, saying she was a single parent with two children who had no other source of income. Housing benefit and council tax benefit were also claimed.
Despite receiving information that she should report any changes in her circumstances, she failed to disclose that her partner was living with her and sharing the costs of running the household.
Small, who represented herself, apologised to the court for the offences. She was given a custodial sentence for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and told to pay costs of £100.