A mother-of-three who admitted to claiming more than £25,000 in benefits she was no longer entitled to was given a suspended sentence.

Codie Marie Jones, 25, of Tanat Way, Wrexham, failed to promptly notify Wrexham Council of her change of circumstances, affecting her entitlement to housing benefits.

Jones started claiming benefits in 2010 but when her partner Daniel Challoner moved into her home she failed to declare she was maintaining a common household with him.

She pleaded guilty to the offence at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday.

Jones also admitted to failing to promptly notify the Department for Work and Pensions when maintaining a common household with Mr Challoner which would affect her entitlement to income support.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, told the court Jones claimed £27,125.07 in total between May 21 2012 and November 17 2015.  

He said the benefit entitlement was made as she had low income and was a single parent with child care responsibilities.

Emma Simoes, defending, said at first the claim was not fraudulent but circumstances changed in 2012.

She told the court the offence was “very serious” and had gone on for a “signficant period of time” but said Jones was of previous good character and was very remorseful.

Simoes said Jones’ partner works away for the majority of the week as a lorry driver.

District Judge Gwyn Jones responded to say it is common for people to not understand how benefit claims work when their partner does not always live with them every day.

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Jones fully understands she should have notified the agencies of her changing of circumstances at the first opportunity.

He added: “Unfortunately time went by and she buried her head in the sand.”

Mr Connah also told the court Jones, who was previously diagnosed with depression, was fearful she would be jailed.

District judge Gwyn Jones, addressing the defendant, said: “£27,125 has been put to you whereas had you been honest when your circumstances changed that money would not have been paid.”

He handed Jones a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

She was also ordered to carry out unpaid work for 130 hours and to pay a surcharge of £150 and £85 costs.