Search

Mawneys benefit cheat claimed £19,638 from authority she volunteered for

PUBLISHED: 18:31 18 June 2014 | UPDATED: 18:31 18 June 2014

Havering Town Hall.

Havering Town Hall.

Archant

A mother-of-two who conned Havering Council out of more than £19,000 in housing and council tax benefits while volunteering at the authority has been ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Benefit cheat Claire Palmer, 39, pleaded guilty to two charges related to failing to inform the council about income from paid employment and a £6,000 student loan.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard from Gerard Shaw, mitigating, that Palmer had not known she needed to declare the extra income - a claim that magistrates said they did ‘not buy’.

Palmer of Cross Road, Mawneys, had claimed housing and council tax benefit from August 2011 for herself, her husband and two children.

Financial checks revealed undeclared bank accounts showing credits from the recruitment agency Palmer had been working for.

Investigations also revealed that Palmer’s husband was earning more than was declared to the council and that she was in receipt of a student loan and bursary while studying social work.

Palmer, who had completed voluntary social work at the council, was told by magistrates that she had come close to a custodial sentence. However chair of the bench Leonard Harbour said the court did not wish separate her from her family.

Instead Palmer was sentenced to a community order for one year, told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, pay costs of £575 and a victim surcharge of £60.

She will also repay £17,272.42 in housing benefit and £2,365.89 in council tax benefit.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council and cabinet member for value, said: “I hope this verdict proves that we will not stand by while some try and play the system. This type of crime is quite simply stealing from hardworking taxpayers and Mrs Palmer will now have to pay back the money she has taken.”

Latest Romford News Stories

Judges from the prestigious annual London in Bloom competition have paid a visit to Havering.

The borough’s most gifted young people were recognised for their hard work and talent with certificates and awards last week.

Yesterday, 15:00

A mum-of-two has launched an online campaign to promote the borough and its family-friendly activities.

Yesterday, 10:00

If you’re wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend why not watch our three-minute Met Office update on whether we’re getting rain or sunshine?

Fri, 12:20

A charming musical about life, love – and tradition – in a Russian Jewish community wowed on its opening night.

Fri, 10:39

England 400-plus years ago was not keen on free speech, as Prof Ged Martin explains

Fri, 09:40

An entrepreneur who secured an exclusive top prize at last year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards has spoken of the “amazing” effect it has had on his charity.

Fri, 07:00

Hundreds of families are without a permanent home in Havering, the highest figure for a decade and a sign of a burgeoning housing crisis. In the first of a special series of reports, EMMA YOULE meets those struggling to find a place to live and asks why?

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now