Community service for benefit cheat

View, Magistrates Court sign, in Aylesbury
View, Magistrates Court sign, in Aylesbury

An Aylesbury benefits cheat who falsely claimed more than £14,000 in welfare support has been sentenced.

Joanne Kirkland, of Court Close, received overpayments of £5,125.50 in income support and £9,181.74 in housing and council tax benefit.

The 40 year old had claimed that she was a lone parent. However, a joint investigation by Aylesbury Vale District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that she had been living together as husband and wife with a Frederick Kyei-Mensah.

In a hearing at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court this week, Kirkland was told she must carry out 200 hours unpaid work, plus pay £85 costs. In addition, Kirkland will also have to repay all of the overpaid benefit.

Councillor Neil Blake, cabinet member for resources, said: “We consider benefit fraud to be a serious matter.

“People have a duty to notify us and report any change in circumstances when it comes to matters that might affect benefit payments, just as we have a duty to protect public funds.”

Fraud hotline: 01296 585570.