Offenders sentenced after 11 years of benefit fraud
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal, Local Government
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A pair of welfare cheats have been sentenced after committing 11 years of housing and council tax benefit fraud.
Pauline Cronin, 51, admitted three specimen charges of dishonestly making a false statement in order to obtain increased pay-outs.
Her partner, Phillip Athersmith, 41, also admitted three specimen charges of knowingly allowing his partner to produce a document which was known to be false.
The crooks dishonestly claimed a total of £38,444.83 between November 2000 and March 2011.
In a case brought by Telford and Wrekin Council, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Cronin claimed she was alone parent, when in fact she had been living with Athersmith since December 2000.
Cronin was given a supervision requirement for 12 months and was told to undertake a Care Skills Farm Training Course.
Athersmith was also handed a 12-month supervision requirement. He must additionally receive six months of treatment for alcohol and do 100 hours of unpaid work.
The judge did not make any order for costs, telling the defendants that their priority should be the repayment of the benefit and they would therefore have insufficient means to pay costs as well.