A SOMERSHAM woman who over-claimed more than £35,000 in benefits was given a 26-week jail term following a two-year investigation. Helen Morris-Oldfield claimed for housing benefit, Council Tax benefit and income support between 2004 and 2007. She claimed

A SOMERSHAM woman who over-claimed more than £35,000 in benefits was given a 26-week jail term following a two-year investigation.

Helen Morris-Oldfield claimed for housing benefit, Council Tax benefit and income support between 2004 and 2007.

She claimed she was a single parent but was living with her husband Andrew Oldfield.

The 37-year-old from Parkhall Road, Somersham, even continued to claim benefits after receiving a £16,000 inheritance payment following the death of her mother.

Morris-Oldfield, who was already in custody for an unrelated offence, pleaded guilty to five charges at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (February 3).

Michele Cheatle, mitigating, said that Morris-Oldfield was remorseful about the claims, but had felt trapped in a "physically abusive and violent relationship", and had not had any access to the inheritance as Mr Oldfield had withdrawn it himself.

Miss Cheatle said Morris-Oldfield felt she had no way out of the relationship, and had been struggling with depression since the death of her mother and daughter in quick succession.

She informed the Department of Work and Pensions when Mr Oldfield left the family home, but failed to let them know when he moved back in.

Miss Cheatle said Morris-Oldfield was planning on moving to Scotland after her prison term.

She added: "This has been a very disturbing time for her. She wants to start again when she is released, and her first objectives will be to see her kids, and pay the money back.