Former North Somercotes woman given suspended prison sentence over tax and benefit fraud

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A former North Somercotes woman has been given a three months suspended prison sentence after she admitted cheating the district council and the tax authorities out of almost £23,000 over a 30 month period.

Elizabeth Mary Hawthorn, 39, previously of Cemetery Road in North Somercotes but now living at an address in Birmingham, admitted at Skegness Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (June 14) that she had made dishonest statements for housing benefit and also to obtaining child tax and working tax credits over a period from July 2012 to January 2015.

Dan Pietryka, prosecuting, said Ms Hawthorn had failed to say she was living with someone and also claimed she was renting a property when, in fact, she owned two properties with a mortgage and was working for 16 hours a week.

He said she had been overpaid by £22,831 in total, which was being reclaimed by the individual departments.

Mitigating, Gary Farmer said Ms Hawthorn had been making repayments since March last year, but now her relationship had ended and she had since lost her job and was living on benefits.

Ms Hawthorn was sentenced to three months imprisonment suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £165 in costs and charges.