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Married Lincolnshire mum claimed £50k in single benefits

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 15, 2013

Married Lincolnshire mum claimed £50k in single benefits
Comments (5)

A MUM from Horbling who claimed more than £50,000 in benefits illegally has been given a suspended jail sentence at Lincoln Crown Court.

Tara Petherick, 43, failed to tell the authorities she had got married and continued to receive income support, council tax benefit and housing benefit on the basis that she was a single mother.

Tony Stanford, prosecuting, said Petherick had initially made a legitimate claim for benefits but should have informed the DWP and her local council when she married.

He said: “She made a claim for income support on the basis that she was a single unmarried mother. It was a genuine claim when it was first made but inquiries were made later on and it was established she married in December 2005.”

Mr Stanford said that Petherick took out a joint loan with her husband and inquiries revealed that her husband’s wages were paid into her bank account.

He told the court: “The net effect is that the defendant has fraudulently obtained £52,957.”

Petherick, of Donington Road, admitted failing to declare her change of circumstance between December 2005 and November 2011.

She was given a 36-week jail sentence suspended for a year with 12 months supervision and 180 hours of unpaid work.

David Stanton, defending, said Petherick had an unhappy marriage and had suffered a decline in both her mental and physical health.

He said: “Her husband was manipulative and dominant. He insisted his wages were paid into her account but he would draw all of the money out for himself. She was given nothing to live on. It was relatively easy to allow the benefits to carry on being paid.

“There is no evidence of the money being spent on frivolous matters. It has all gone to the family. It has not gone to gambling, excess living or holidays.”

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5 comments

  • Ian_Heighton  |  December 15 2013, 6:35PM

    No different to MP's fiddling expenses, very few of them got locked up. Difference is, they paid accountants to figure out how to deliberately fiddle. I'm surprised that more people don't follow the example the MP's set.

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  • Etgran  |  December 15 2013, 12:55PM

    The person making the claims knows that any change of circumstances, you are required to inform the authority and your claim would be adjusted. We live in a country where decent honest law abiding people are out numbered by the type of person in this case and is it any wonder why we are borrowing so much each year, they have not mentioned the cost of bringing this case to court, total bill to tax payer is probably 100k +.

    Rate   5
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  • InsideStory  |  December 15 2013, 11:51AM

    This person carried on claiming when her circumstances changed because not enough checks are carried out by the DWP on existing claimants .And they didn't detect that she was still claiming between December 2005 and November 2011,took long enough for them to find the false claim ? I was told i am eligible to claim working tax credits but because so many people i know have had letters telling them they have been over paid and are required to repay the money i will not claim because i am reluctant to claim because i dont want demanding letters requesting the money to be returned once i have used to the money . Even the staff at DWP cant calculate the claims accurately because the system is so complex even for them to understand .

    Rate   1
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  • Panda22  |  December 15 2013, 10:21AM

    She hould have been given a prison sentence and ten have to pay all the money back.

    Rate   15
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  • Hertsman  |  December 15 2013, 9:41AM

    And it be paid back how?..............so much a week would be nice,....... no more benefit.....

    Rate   15
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