Benefits cheat Ashleigh Brickwood sentenced at Northampton Crown Court

Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

A woman who lied about her single status to fraudulently claim nearly £15,000 in benefits has been sentenced.

Ashleigh Brickwood, 24, of Raeburn Road, Northampton, repeatedly failed to report that she was living with her partner, claiming she was a lone parent from February 2010 to January 2012.

She claimed nearly £15,000 in tax credits, income support and housing and council tax benefits.

Brickwood pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday, May 22, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

The fraud was uncovered after a joint investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Adrian Farley, assistant director of investigation for HMRC, said: “Brickwood lied on a number of occasions to increase the amount of benefits she was entitled to, pocketing money needed to fund public services. This case sends out a clear and firm message that we have stringent controls in place and effective teams to investigate, and ensure this illegal activity is ended.

“We recognise it is only a minority that are exploiting the system but would encourage anyone with information relating to tax credit fraud to call the Benefits Anti-Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440 in total confidence.”