Benefits cheat made false claim of £7,000

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MAGISTRATES have given a benefits cheat a suspended sentence.

Sarah Bayley, 43, of Stephens Close, Chichester, claimed more than £7,000 housing and council tax benefit from Chichester District Council on the basis that she was a self-employed child minder.

But an investigation revealed she was employed by NHS Sussex Partnership, which she did not declare to the council. As a result Bayley was overpaid £5,704.65 housing benefit and £1,593.88 council tax benefit.

She appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to notify the council of a change in circumstances.

She was sentenced to four weeks imprisonment suspended for each charge, to run concurrently, and told to pay a victim surcharge of £80.