Norfolk woman sentenced for �22k benefit fraud

A woman who fraudulently claimed more than �22,000 worth of benefits has been given a suspended sentence.

Maria-Jane Bartram, 42, of Rose Lane, Palgrave, Diss, was today (Friday) sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

The court heard how she had previously pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances in relation to council tax, income support and housing benefit.

Bartram admitted to claiming �22,187 worth of benefits which she was not entitled to between August 2006 and March 2009. The court heard she was living with her partner but had not notified the authorities.

During mitigation, Andrew Oliver said the case was 'not dishonest from the outset' and that it was 'not sophisticated in anyway'.

Bartram was given a 20 weeks prison sentence suspended for 12 months. She was also ordered to do the women's emotional wellbeing requirement in the community for four months.

Sentencing Bartram, Recorder Katharine Moore said: 'These are very serious matters here today. You are very aware that you shouldn't have done it and you have let yourself down.

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'If you commit a further offence, you will be brought back to court. It's very much a last chance.'

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