East Lothian benefits cheat pocketed £20,000

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR who pocketed £20,000 in benefits she was not entitled as she was living with her partner has been handed a six-month curfew order.

By Alexander Lawrie
Saturday, 28th November 2020, 7:00 am
Benefit cheat case heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Benefit cheat case heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Kirsty Benn claimed the Universal Credit cash after failing to inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) she was staying at her home with partner Mark Campbell.

Benn, 35, was caught out following a DWP investigation that looked into her bank account and phone records.

The benefits cheat pleaded guilty to embezzling £20,000 over a two-year period when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

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Sentence had been deferred for reports and she returned to the dock at the city court for sentencing

Defence solicitor Mary Moultrie said Benn, from Wallyford, East Lothian, was a first offender with a clean record and that over the period where she committed the offence she had been in “an on off relationship” with Mr Campbell and had not intended to break the law.

Sheriff Douglas Keir said: “I take on board that there was no intent but at the same time the responsibility lies with you in terms of updating your circumstances with the authorities.”

Benn was placed on a six-month restriction of liberty order whereby she must stay within her home address between 8pm and 7am.

Benn pleaded guilty to failing to give prompt notification to the DWP that her circumstances had changed in that she was living with her partner Mark Campbell and did obtain Universal Credit of £20,000 she was not entitled to between July 26, 2016 and May 31, 2018.

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