Benefit fraudster faces repaying almost £6,000 dishonestly claimed in sickness benefits

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A benefit fraudster is facing repaying almost £6,000 she claimed in sickness benefits.

Kimberley Cruddas, 39, claimed £5,672 on the basis that she was unable to work after an accident, Sunderland magistrates heard.

She claimed she did try to ring the DWP twice, but she didn’t get through, then said she suffered from depression and it went out of her mind

Keith Wardlaw, prosecuting

She also stated to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), that her then-partner did not work.

However, the court heard that between July 21, 2014, and July 9, 2015, Cruddas worked for Grosvenor Casino, and her partner worked for Stagecoach as a bus driver and for a drains company.

Prosecutor Keith Wardlaw said Cruddas claimed in an interview that her partner was in unpaid work.

“That wasn’t the case, and he was being paid,” Mr Wardlaw said.

“She claimed she did try to ring the DWP twice, but she didn’t get through, then said she suffered from depression and it went out of her mind. She failed to declare that she worked for Grosvenor Casino, in Hull.”

Cruddas, of Torphin Hill Drive, Sunderland, admitted dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.

Ian Jordan, defending, said Cruddas had been in a controlling relationship at the time, which she needed police help to escape.

He added that she has now moved back to Sunderland and has a job in a call centre at Doxford Park.

She was fined £180 with a £30 surcharge and £85 costs. The DWP will recover the overpaid benefits via civil channels.