Benefits cheat admits claiming over £17k

A BENEFITS cheat from Scarborough unlawfully claimed more than £17,000, a court heard.

Jane Collins, 40, of Aberdeen Walk, admitted to illegally claiming the sum from Scarborough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

She pleaded guilty to three charges at the hearing last week.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard that Collins had not informed authorities that her partner was living with her.

An investigation was carried out, and an advertisement was discovered for her partner’s roofing business, giving the address as Harvest Way, Eastfield, where Collins was living at the time.

Investigators then drove past her home and saw Collins’ partner’s van parked outside the property on 20 occasions between September 12 and October 22 2008.

The defendant’s partner also had a bank account registered to the Harvest Way address.

When interviewed by council officers at the Town Hall, Collins admitted she had been living with her partner between June 2008 and September 2009, and conceded that her actions had not been honest. In total, she was overpaid £17,383.38.

Magistrates asked that a pre-sentence report is prepared by the probation service. Collins, who was granted unconditional bail, is due to be sentenced on June 3.