Knebworth benefit cheat spared jail
A BENEFIT cheat who illicitly pocketed more than �50,000 in state handouts has been spared jail.
Crooked Kathleen Smith, 44, trousered income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit over an 11-year period, without declaring a large sum that she had been given by her grandmother.
Prosecutor Stephen Hopper told St Albans Crown Court on Friday the total overpayment was �50,633.28.
The mother-of-two stopped claiming income support in 2005, but went on to receive the other benefits until she was snared last year.
Smith, of Muirhead Way, Knebworth, pleaded guilty to 15 offences of fraud.
You may also want to watch:
When questioned, she said she had been given a sum of money by her grandmother and was looking after it for her children.
David Wales, defending, told the court his client was illiterate.
- 1 Dangerous Welwyn Garden City domestic abuser who slashed ex-girlfriend's throat jailed
- 2 Safety check and risk assessment failings for hundreds of Welwyn Hatfield council houses
- 3 When is Team GB cycling star Laura Kenny in action at Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
- 4 The latest court results for Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar
- 5 Community reacts to closure of overnight Urgent Care Centre service at New QEII Hospital
- 6 Water safety advice issued following lake drowning
- 7 New report reveals 28 Covid deaths at Hatfield care home
- 8 9 things you didn’t know about the making of Band of Brothers
- 9 Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire appears in new Fake or Fortune? series on BBC One
- 10 The changing nature of Potters Bar high street
He added that, had the money been placed in trust for her children, she would not have committed the offence.
Mr Wales said: “She had access to the money, but did not use it.
“Had she taken legal advice she would not have come to court.”
The money was seized by the Department of Work and Pensions but Mr Wales said his client wanted to make “reparation” and would not contest a confiscation hearing.
Recorder Andrew Smith sentenced her to nine months behind bars, suspended for 18 months with nine months’ supervision.
Smith was also ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work.