Crawley benefit cheat ordered to do unpaid work

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A woman who falsely claimed more than £2,200 in benefits pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (8 April).

Nicola Smith, of Broadwood Rise, Broadfield, dishonestly claimed £2,026.62 Housing Benefit and £176.97 of Discretionary Housing Payments on the basis that she failed to tell the council that her partner had started employment.

This led to a total overpayment of £2,203.59, said a Crawley Borough Council spokesman.

Smith, 27, was charged with dishonestly failing to inform Crawley Borough Council that her husband had commenced employment and obtaining Discretionary Housing Payments when her partner was in employment.

She pleaded guilty on both charges and was given a Community Order for 12 Months, ordered to undertake unpaid work of 50 hours and pay a victim surcharge of £60 to the court.

The overpayments must paid back to the council.