Bank Notes

Benefit cheats fail to declare partners are living with them

Bank NotesTwo Blaby District residents have received twelve month community orders and a total of 260 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.

Whetstone mum Donna Ward legitimately claimed housing and council tax benefits, and income support, when she split up with her husband Michael Chapman, but failed to notify the council when the pair got back together three months later.

Between June 2010 and January 2013, the 42 year old claimed a total of £13,331.61 that she was not entitled to. She received £6,327.20 housing benefit, £1,342.37 council tax benefit, and £5,662.04 income support.

Donna pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court on Monday 24 February, and received a twelve month community order with 180 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay £60 victim surcharge. She is also now repaying the £13,000 fraud.

Croft resident Emma Battle dishonestly claimed £5,775.61 between January and August 2013 after failing to declare her partner Mark Baxter was living with her.

The 19 year old was sentenced by Leicester Magistrates Court on Monday 20 January after pleading guilty to claiming income support, housing and council tax benefits, and will have to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work as part of a twelve month community order.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“We will continue to work closely with our partner organisations to ensure the full level of any fraud is brought before the courts.

“The vast majority of people are law abiding council tax payers and claim benefit they are entitled to correctly. It is only fair that we take action when benefit is claimed fraudulently.”

Benefit cheats in Blaby district can be reported online at or by calling 0116 272 7733.

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

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