A YOUNG mum has admitted a £10,000 benefits scam.
Elisha Jade Lawton, 21, failed to report she was living with her partner Jamie Lee Oldham.
Flintshire Magistrates Court heard she had been overpaid £6,400 in income support, £2,800 in housing benefit and £669 in council tax benefit.
Lawton, who no longer lived with her partner and had returned to live with her mother at Shotton Lane, Shotton, admitted failing to report a change of circumstances which would have affected her benefit.
District Judge Andrew Shaw placed her on a 12-month community order and ordered her to carry out 150 hours unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay £500 costs.
Bryony Tomlinson, prosecuting, said Lawton had been on benefits since 2009, claiming as a single parent and later as a lone parent.
But the Department for Work and Pensions received information she had an undeclared partner.
An investigation showed his earnings were paid into her bank account, he had applied for a bank loan giving his address as her then address at Lon Celyn, Connah’s Quay, saying he had lived there since March 2010. That was the address given on his photo driving licence and he had paid for a broadband service at the address.
Interviewed, she said they did not live together and gave an address for him in Church Street but checks showed he had not lived there since November 2011.
The DWP reviewed the evidence and decided they had lived together as man and wife from April 2010 which meant she was not entitled to benefits because of his earnings.
David Matthews, defending, said she had entered her guilty plea earlier without taking legal advice.
She and Mr Oldham had a relationship, he started staying over at weekends and stayed more than he should have done. But it was her case they did not live together as man and wife.
“He never lived there full time,” he told the Mold court.
The money had not been used on an extravagant life-style but on herself and her two children.
Mr Matthews said she was not receiving benefits apart from child benefit and child tax credit.