Third benefit fraud conviction for West Sussex woman

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A PENSIONER has admitted defrauding taxpayers of almost £30,000.

Lorely Day, 62, formerly of Oxford Close, West Wittering, had claimed the money for over six years while failing to declare that she had a substantial monthly private pension.

It was her third conviction for benefit fraud. She appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court and was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Day claimed £23,369.58 in housing benefit and £5,629.69 in council tax benefit between November 2006 and January 2013, from Chichester District Council.

Councillor Tony Dignum, cabinet member for finance at Chichester District Council, said: ‘Benefit fraud is a very serious crime and we will prosecute those people guilty of it.

‘All income and capital has to be declared, no matter what its source. The benefits system is there to help those most in need, not those who want to abuse it by claiming money they are not entitled to receive.’

The council is trying to recover the money. To report a suspected benefit fraudster call the 24-hour fraud hotline on 01243 534590, or go to chichester.gov.uk.