Benefits cheat falsely claimed more than £3k

A Mildenhall mother-of-three has been ordered to carry out unpaid community work after admitting benefit fraud.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Thursday that Maureen Jones, 30, of Peterhouse Close, had regularly told officials that there had been no change in her circumstances even though her estranged husband had returned to live with her.

Prosecuting, Benjamin Burge said Jones had pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change in her circumstances relating to her claims for housing and council tax benefit, and admitted making a false representation in respect of Job Seekers’ Allowance. This had resulted in the overpayment of benefits totalling £3,840.

The offences were committed between July 2012 and January 2013.

Jones was now having 
repayments of £20 a month deducted from her benefits, the court was told.

Joanne Eley, mitigating, said Jones’ husband, who had initially become estranged from her just five weeks after their wedding, had returned for a time but had moved out.

Miss Eley said: “She tells me she has most definitely learned her lesson.

“She certainly now does 
understand the benefits system.”

Recorder Jonathan Seely said Jones would have to 
complete 40 hours of 
unpaid work within the next 12 months and pay £100 
towards prosecution costs,