Spot the Difference Mr Laws

Norfolk mother jailed for benefit fraud

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM

Last updated: 27/05/2010 06:30:00
A Norfolk mother who falsely claimed more than £76,000 in benefits after failing to declare she was living with a partner, was last night starting a 20-week jail sentence.

Sarah Riley, 34, falsely claimed the benefits over a six year period from 2001 to 2007. Norwich Crown Court heard that she obtained a total of £64,433 in income support and £10,225 in housing benefit as well as £1,583 in council tax benefit.

Matthew Edwards prosecuting said that Riley’s claim had not been fraudulent from the outset but she had failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions when she had started living with her new partner in 2001.

The court heard that Riley had now split up from her partner and was making efforts to repay some of the money and had paid back more than a £1,000.

Riley of Cremer Street, Sheringham, admitted 10 counts of benefit fraud.

Jailing her for 20 weeks, judge Alasdair Darroch, told her he accepted that prison would be devastating for her but said: ?This is a very large sum of public money and there was dishonesty going on for a long period of years.?

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