Penycae benefits fraudster 'made a genuine mistake'

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A WOMAN falsely claimed more than £4,000 in benefits.

Rachael Edwards, 31, of Maelor Avenue, Penycae, claimed £4,751.83 in housing and council tax benefit from Wrexham Council after failing to notify them of a change to her income.

Edwards, who said it was a “genuine mistake”, was given a two-year conditional discharge by Wrexham magistrates.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said Edwards had incorrectly claimed thousands of pounds between October, 2011 and August, 2013 and had failed to inform them that her wages had increased at her place of work.

Ms Tench said a form was sent by Wrexham Council to Edwards’ employer to identify her working hours and it transpired her hours had increased from 126 to 200 hours a month and as a result, her wages had also gone up.

That meant she was getting more benefits than she was entitled to.

When questioned, Edwards admitted she had failed to admit that she was earning more money and it was a “genuine mistake”.

Ceri Lewis, defending, said her client was “extremely remorseful and stressed out by the whole procedure”.

She added Edwards had been entitled to claim when she initially received benefits in 2011 and she was currently paying back the money owed.

As a result, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Ian Bellingham deemed a two year conditional discharge was a sufficient penalty, saying he thought it was unlikely she would be seen in court ever again.

Edwards was also told to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.

See full story in the Leader

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