Court orders benefits fraudster to do 100 hours of unpaid work

Huntingdonshire District Council. Huntingdonshire District Council.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
11:17 AM

A woman who failed to declare that her civil partner was living with her and fraudulently claimed nearly £4,000 in benefits has been told to do 100 hours of unpaid work.

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Gemma Wavell, now of Winchester Road, Sandy, was prosecuted by Huntingdonshire District Council for three counts of benefit fraud dating back to 2011.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard last Wednesday how Wavell had not told HDC that Charmaine Graham had moved in with her at Aspen Green, Huntingdon. Instead, she said she was a lone parent in receipt of income support.

An investigation by HDC revealed Ms Graham had lived with Wavell between 2011 and 2012 and had been in work part of the time.

Wavell, 28, admitted three charges of fraudulently claiming benefits totalling £3,900 and is repaying what she claimed. She was also ordered to pay £200 costs.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Bethan Kester, of Oliver Way, St Neots, who was a repeat benefit fraudster, was handed a suspended jail term.

The 24-year-old had admitted ­benefit fraud between 2011 and 2012 at an earlier hearing.

Kester had claimed housing benefit when she was allocated a property in Abbots Close, Woodhurst, because she was unemployed and in need of housing.

She was reported by a member of the public who said she was not living there and an HDC investigation found she had never moved in.

Kester had been overpaid £2,300 in housing benefit. It was the second time she had been convicted of ­benefit fraud. She was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Also at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court was Tracey Ling, who falsely claimed benefits totalling £4,500 from 2012 to 2013.

Ling, 42, had declared on her claim form that she was a lone parent on a low income, and was responsible for the rent of a property in Malthouse Lane, Ramsey, as the sole tenant.

But HDC was tipped-off that Ling’s partner was also living at the address and was in full-time work.

Ling, who has made arrangements to repay the money, admitted two charges of benefit fraud, and will have to do 80 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £300.

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