£9,000 Potters Bar benefit cheat slapped with community order

PUBLISHED: 14:26 15 April 2013 | UPDATED: 14:26 15 April 2013




A BENEFITS cheat from Potters Bar, who swindled the council out of nearly £10,000, was spared jail.

Jane Parker, of Cranborne Road, had been told she could face prison before her appearance at St Albans Magistrates Court.

But, in the end, magistrates slapped her with a community order for 12 months, which includes 120 hours unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay £200 towards prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Parker, 36, had pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to report a change in her circumstances and one of knowingly making a false representation with regards to her housing and council tax benefits at an earlier hearing, at Watford Magistrates Court.

She pocketed nearly £9,250 in state handouts over four years, while working as a cleaning supervisor for the Royal Veterinary Service and later, for Hertsmere Leisure Trust.

Parker also did not inform welfare chiefs of her jobs and they only came to light following an investigation by officers.

After a reassessment, it was found she had received overpayments of £7,880 in housing benefit and £1,369 in council tax benefit.

A spokeswoman for Hertsmere Borough Council said: “We take benefit fraud seriously and this should serve as a warning to others that we will investigate and take action.”

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