A WOMAN claimed her parents’ mining pension for five years after they died.
Julie Scott forged signatures to keep the monthly payments coming, Durham Crown Court heard.
Scott’s father was a miner whose pension passed to his wife on his death.
When she died in 2006, Scott, 46, should have told NCB pension administrator AON.
But instead she arranged for the £297 monthly payment to be made to an account under her control, the court was told.
Scott, of Braddyll Square, in South Hetton, admitted fraud between May, 2006, and August of last year.
The court was told the total amount obtained fraudulently is £15,211.
Chris Morrison, defending, said: “Julie Scott has been using cocaine for a long time.
“She has no savings or equity in property and arrives at court in mortal terror of the consequences of this offending.
“She is already on a community order for an offence dealt with at magistrates’ court.
“The order is progressing well, so she has shown a willingness to respond to non-custodial penalties.”
Judge Christopher Prince adjourned passing sentence for the preparation of a probation report.
The judge told Scott: “Taking cocaine is one matter, stealing thousands of pounds is another matter.
“All sentencing options for this fraud offence remain open at this stage.
“It is not an idle threat that you may go to prison, so you would be wise to put your affairs in order.”
Scott was bailed on condition she returns to the court to be dealt with on Friday, April 13.