Benefit cheat swindled £60k

A BENEFIT cheat from Bircotes who was overpaid £60,000 has been spared prison and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work for the community.

Carla Frost, 45, of Balmoral Court, failed to reveal that she and her husband were living together.

Judge Jeremy Lea told her at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 5th February: “This was a significant amount of money you had that you were not entitled to.”

“It is intended for vulnerable families and individuals. You were undoubtedly subsidising yourself at the tax payer’s expense.”

But the judge said he was not sending her to prison because of her health difficulties and the effort she was making to repay the money.

Her 24 week prison sentence was suspended for two years.

“I anticipate you will continue to make the repayments as you have been,” Judge Lea told her.

Frost, who was of previous good character, pleaded guilty to failing to give prompt notification of change of circumstance.

She failed to tell Bassetlaw Council that she and Steven Frost were living together as a married couple at the same address.

She wrongly claimed housing and council tax benefits between June 2004 and September 2009, and income support between April 2004 and June 2009.

Her barrister Errol Ballentyne said that it was her husband’s infidelity had brought about a lot of her difficulties.

He also said her husband was ashamed of his behaviour, and the way he treated his wife.

“They are doing their best to put their lives back together,” he said.

His money was being used to make the repayments.

Mr Ballentyne added: “They were not living an extravagant lifestyle.”