Ten months’ imprisonment for dishonest claims

A BENEFITS fraudster has been jailed for cheating the taxpayer out of more than £28,000.

Jordan Marshall, 23, of Newcomen Road, Wellingborough, appeared at Northampton Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for the fraud.

The court heard Marshall had failed to inform the authorities she had been living with her ex-partner and father of her two children, Daniel Hulme.

The pair lived together in Rushden, while he worked and she claimed income support and housing and council tax benefit.

Marshall admitted three counts of making false representation and one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

Joan Gandolfi, prosecuting for the Department of Work and Pensions, said £14,117 was overpaid as a result of her obtaining the money by deception.

The housing benefit claim totalled £12,742 between May 2008 and April last year and the council tax benefit to Marshall was £2,007 during the same period. The total loss was £28,867.

Mrs Gandolfi said when interviewed for the investigation, Marshall said Mr Hulme stayed at the address “two or three nights a week”.

She said: “When he [Mr Hulme] was interviewed, as far as he was concerned, he regarded himself as living there – all his mail went there and he had nowhere else. That was, for all intents and purposes, his home address.”

Matthew Kirk, mitigating, said: “Marshall was in a relationship with the father of her two children which wasn’t a settled or happy relationship in many ways. He and the children have both benefited from the crime, for which she accepts responsibility.”

Judge Richard Bray, sentencing her to 10 months’ imprisonment, said: “You received some £28,000 over a period of years. You knew perfectly well your partner was living with you, earning money, and even paying his wages into your bank account. This is the most blatant fraud.

“Benefit fraud is costing this country millions and millions of pounds from people like you, money that can scarcely be afforded today.”