Woman’s £6k benefit fraud

A WHALEY Bridge woman fraudulently claimed more than £6,000 in benefits after she failed to disclose that her partner was working, a court heard.

Fifty-eight-year-old Judith Goddard, of Bridgemont, appeared before Buxton magistrates last Wednesday when she admitted two charges of failing to report a change in circumstances.

The bench imposed a 12-week community order to run concurrently with a curfew order, and she was told to pay £100 costs. She will also have to repay all the money she owes.

The case was brought by High Peak Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions following a joint investigation.

It was found that Goddard had completed a review form stating that her partner, John Fenton, had started work in August 2010. However, he had actually started work in May 2009.

As a result, she was overpaid Income Support of £6,120.68 and Council Tax Benefit of £340.23.

Tim Norton, executive councillor for corporate services, said: “This conviction and others like it send out a strong message that we won’t allow benefit cheats to take money from the hard-working taxpayer.

“Anyone who suspects that people are receiving benefits to which they’re not entitled should call the council in confidence on 01298 28433, safe in the knowledge that we’ll always take action,” he pledged.