West Sussex mum fraudulently claimed £80,000 benefits

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A MUM falsely claimed more than £80,000 in benefits by failing to disclose her household’s income.

Mandy Harper, 42, pleaded guilty at Chichester Crown Court to two counts of dishonestly failing to tell the authorities that her husband was living with her and that his earnings contributed to bills.

Harper, also known as Mandy Delaney, had claimed income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit on the basis that she was a single parent.

An investigation revealed that she was overpaid around £82,000 between 2005 and 2010.

Harper, of Pennycord Close, Selsey, will be sentenced on October 22.

The judge said she will be considered to carry out an unpaid work order.

In the meantime, Harper will be given a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

Cllr Josef Ransley, who is in charge of corporate services at Chichester District Council, said: ‘We want to encourage everyone to let us know if there is any change in their circumstances so our officers can check to see if it may affect their benefit entitlement.

‘People often remember to do so if their circumstances change for the worse but if they improve they need to tell us as well.’