A MOTHER has been given a suspended prison sentence after failing to tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the father of one of her children was living with her.
That meant Alison Parker, of Moorfields, Holywell, was overpaid £31,000 in benefits.
For sentencing purposes the prosecution at Flintshire Magistrates Court accepted an overpayment figure of £19,950.
Prosecutor Tim Dillon said the full amount would have to be repaid.
Parker admitted failing to report information that could change the level of her benefits. She was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for a year.
Magistrates placed Parker, 32, on supervision for six months and sent her on a financial management workbook programme run by the probation service. She must pay £280 costs.
Magistrates heard she claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance from the DWP and received council tax benefit and housing benefit from Flintshire Council.
She claimed as the single mother of one child – but it emerged she had two children and a partner who was living with her who was working.
Mr Dillon said there was a wealth of evidence they lived as a family unit.
The partner’s employers had her address as his; his car was insured in his name at her address; he had made financial applications from her address and his bank also held her address as his.
Gary Harvey, defending, said it had been a on-off relationship and the prosecution conceded for sentencing purposes the figure could be reduced to below £20,000.
He said it was not a sophisticated matter and if she had told the truth she would have been entitled to tax credits.
Mr Harvey suggested she had been used, faced paying a large amount of money back over many years and had nothing to show for it.
He told the court Parker led far from a luxurious lifestyle and could hardly raise the bus fare to attend court.