Retford: Woman received £18k extra in benefits

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A Retford woman who claimed almost £18,000 she was not entitled to has been given a suspended sentence.

Brigid Hindle, 49, of Lawnwood Avenue in Elkesley, admitted three counts of failing to notify authorities of changes in circumstance which would have reduced her benefit payments.

Worksop Magistrates Court heard how, from 2009 to 2012, Hindle withheld information relating to housing benefit and council tax support.

Prosecuting, Catherine Picardo told the court how Hindle worked more than the 16 hours she had outlined to benefits staff, and failed to inform Bassetlaw District Council about her receipt of working tax credits.

The court also heard how Hindle told authorities her son had left home, which was not the case.

In mitigation, Paul Bilton said his client was clearly remorseful of her actions, and that she had given a great deal back to the community.

He added that Hindle had health difficulties but did not want these to stop her working, and had been faced with a need to work more hours in her job.

District Judge Diane Baker said: “I take into account that you are a lady of good character, but this a huge amount of money from the public purse over a long period of time.”

“You knew you weren’t entitled to it and continued to claim.”

She sentenced Hindle to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered her to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.