Hemsby woman Patricia Taylor falsely claimed nearly £39,000 in benefits after lying about her savings, Norwich Crown Court hears
A woman falsely claimed benefits totalling nearly £39,000 when she lied about her large amount of savings, a court heard.
Patricia Taylor, 61, of The Pastures, Hemsby, who is registered blind, told the Department for Work and Pensions that she had only £2,200 in savings when in fact at one point she had £122,000 in her account, Norwich Crown Court was told.
William Carter, prosecuting on behalf of the DWP, said Taylor's fraudulent claim came to light when she helped her son with a purchase of a house in 2014.
'It would appear from that transaction that she had access to capital sums far more than she had previously declared,' Mr Carter said.
He said in 2008 she had £72,000 in her account and this rose at one point to £122,000. Yet in a declaration she made to the DWP in 2011, she said her total capital was £2,200.
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Mr Carter said this was far in excess of the maximum permitted for her to be entitled to the benefits she claimed. He said that she had made the false claims for just over a six-year period and the amount totalled £38,984.
The claims were for income support. council tax and housing benefit.
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Taylor admitted four counts of falsely claiming benefits. The court heard she had now paid all the cash back from her savings.
Judge Anthony Bate fined her £3,200 and ordered her to pay £500 costs.
He told Taylor, who was of previous good character: 'It is always sad in cases of this kind to see you before the crown court having admitted a significant degree of dishonesty over a sustained period of time.'
He accepted her claim was not dishonest from the outset and an important factor was that she was now registered blind.
He also gave her credit for paying back all the cash and pleading guilty at an early opportunity.
Danielle O'Donovan, for Taylor, said her client had repaid all the cash and relied on her family for help with her day-to-day life.