Search

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

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 News Stories

Yesterday, 14:17
Flames could be seen above the building. Picture: David Stainer

A huge fire that ripped through a maisonette and forced residents to flee their homes was caused by a cannabis factory, detectives believe.

Yesterday, 15:39
Gary and Sarah Woehrle with singer Gary Barlow, centre. Picture: John Murray/PNJPhotography

For many, getting married is about declaring your love and sharing an emotional experience.

Yesterday, 11:58
Have your say: Take part in our General Election 2015 survey

With a month to go before the 2015 General Election we want to know your views.

Yesterday, 11:00
General view of High Street Hornchurch.

Hornchurch has been labelled the ninth healthiest high street in London by the Royal Society of Public Health.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder