Benefit cheat sentenced

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A FORMER Scarborough woman who gave up her job to move to the town and care for her mother defrauded the benefit system by £14,697, a court heard.

Carol Moore, 51, pleaded guilty to eight charges of failing to notify Scarborough Council and the Department of Works and Pensions of changes in her circumstances.

York Crown Court heard Moore, had fallen prey to the actions of a local man who took advantage of her when she was vulnerable and at a low-ebb in her life and subjected her to domestic violence.

Prosecuting, Nicholas De-la-Poar, said some of Moore’s initial claims for housing, council tax and job seeker benefits had been legitimate, but that then, between August 2006 and November 2008, she had made false claims.

He added on two occasions forged documents were presented by her purporting to show she was a tenant, rather than living with her then partner.

Mitigating, Ruth Cranidge said that Moore had embarked on a “disastrous” relationship with a man while in Scarborough, being subjected to violence and persuaded by him to commit her first ever criminal offences.

Miss Cranidge said the man had also allegedly misappropriated Moore’s inheritance and that proceeding were in hand to try and get this back.

Sentencing Moore to a 12 month Community Order and to complete 180 hours unpaid work, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said it was an “unhappy case”.

Adding that it was a pity that the ex-partner was not before the court, he said it now appeared Moore once more had employment prospects and was rebuilding her life.

The court was told money was being taken from her benefits to repay the Department of Works and Pension, but Judge Ashurst also ordered her to pay compensation of £8,431, with costs of £600, to Scarborough Council within two years.

Moore has since moved back to the Burton on Trent area.