Whetstone mum convicted after claiming over £26,000 in benefits

A whetstone mum has been prosecuted and fined for dishonestly claiming more than £26,000 in benefits after she hid the fact her partner was living with her for nearly 18 months.

Kelly Holland, 34, of Shelduck Close, Whetstone, was convicted of three counts of benefits fraud when she appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 5th June 2013.

Mother of four children, she failed to inform authorities that the father of her youngest child was living with her.

By the time the fraud had come to light Kelly had taken £26,377.99 in benefits she was not entitled to.

The court heard that her claims for income support, tax credits and council tax benefit were originally legitimate because her boyfriend was not living there.

However by late 2010 he had moved in and by October 2012 the couple were married.

Kelly pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve an eight week jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 120 hours unpaid work.

She was told by magistrates the offences were custody threshold, but credit had been given for her early guilty plea.

She was also ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £80.

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

“Benefits are designed for those in need and not to be regarded as a pool of wealth into which people can dip their fingers.

“We will continue to work with other agencies to root out fraudsters who cost hardworking tax payers millions of pounds each year.”

Benefit cheats in Blaby district can be reported online at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud or by calling 0116 272 7733.

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

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