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Monday, 02 March 2015

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£13,000 fraud mum can only repay £52.25, Carlisle court told

A mother-of-four who illegally pocketed more than £13,000 in benefits has been told she must repay just £52.25.

That was the amount of cash available after investigators looked into the financial affairs of 35-year-old Brampton woman Donna McConville, who had denied three counts of making false representations to claim benefit.

She was convicted after a trial before magistrates.

At Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor Rob Dudley said she had benefited from her crime to the tune of £13,747.

But an investigation of her finances showed her house was in negative equity, and that she had no other appreciable assets.

“Therefore it would be inappropriate to seek the full amount,” said Mr Dudley, who was bringing the case under the Proceeds of Crime Act for the Department for Work & Pensions.

Recorder Kevin Talbot ruled that the £52.25 should be repaid within months.

If McConville, of Stanley Road, fails to pay up she will be jailed for three days.

The original court hearing was told that the defendant had claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit, and Income Support as though she had had been a single parent. She had failed to tell the Department for Work & Pensions that her husband, who worked away, was providing for her.

She claimed she believed she was entitled to claim the money because her husband spent so long working away. For some of the time while she claimed benefits, she was working as a £7.40 an hour administrator in Carlisle.

McConville was given a 12-month community order and a four-month overnight curfew.


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