'Dishonest' Sunderland grandma 'deprived genuine claimants' of money in Â£30,000 benefit fraud
A gran who carried out a Â£30,000 benefit fraud has been told dishonest claimants like her have left the system "creaking".
Yvette Wooton was paid Jobseekers' Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and given housing and council tax relief between 2013 and 2017 on the basis she lived alone and was in poor health following the breakdown of her marriage.
But Newcastle Crown Court heard evidence, including work and financial records and family statements, proved the 52-year-old's husband was still and home with her and contributing a wage.
Wooton, of Friar Road, Sunderland had denied wrongdoing but was convicted of seven offences of benefit fraud, totalling £30,714, after a trial by magistrates.
Judge Tim Gittins sentenced her to 36 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work and supervision requirements.
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The judge told Wooton: "The fact is, you have deprived genuine claimants of that money and you have forced taxpayers to pay more money when the system is under significant pressure anyway.
"No wonder it is creaking when there are dishonest people like you about."
Judge Gittens said Wooton has lost her good character in "spectacular fashion" and added: "No doubt you feel a degree of remorse now."