Mawneys benefit cheat claimed £19,638 from authority she volunteered for
- Credit: 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.
You may also want to watch:
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.
- 1 Plane crash in Upminster sees man taken to hospital as a priority
- 2 Free holiday swimming sessions return for Havering schoolchildren
- 3 Man 'wraps metal chain around woman's neck' in Hornchurch park attack
- 4 Revealed: The most popular baby names in your area in 2020
- 5 Man charged with multiple child exploitation offences to stand trial
- 6 West Ham legend Sir Trevor Brooking supports charity golf day
- 7 Road and rail: Disruptions to watch out for in Havering next week
- 8 ‘It is our moral obligation’: Upminster school launches mental health team
- 9 West Ham free to build new training facility as council approves plans
- 10 Beam Park station 'can't go ahead without government support', council says
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.”