A benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed almost £25,000 has been given a suspended prison sentence and told to pay back the money after being prosecuted by Wellingborough Council.
Carly Wesley, 27, of Wellingborough Road, Earls Barton, was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work in the community when she was sentenced at Wellingborough Magistrates Court today, Monday, May 13.
The mum-of-two failed to declare that she had been living with her husband since October 2009.
Since then, she had claimed £7,605 in income support, £15,460 in housing benefits and £1,855 in council tax benefit.
Wesley initially denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial.
She told the court today: “I am sorry. I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong at the time. We were not living together every day as a married couple at the time.”
Wesley said she now realises that she committed an offence.
Magistrate Margaret Liddle said: “These were serious offences because they went on for a long time. We have looked at the length of time and the total amount, which is a large amount. This case also had to go to trial.
“We are sentencing you to 12 weeks in custody, suspended for one year. We are also giving you 100 hours of unpaid work. If you breach that it will mean that you will be back here in court.”
Wesley was also ordered to pay £400 towards the court costs.