Benefit-claim worker guilty

A 60-YEAR-OLD Scarborough woman has been fitted with an electronic tag after dishonestly claiming £2,016.75 in disability benefits while working as a cleaner.

Marilyn Gordon, of Rosevale Court, off St John’s Road, admitted that she kept claiming the cash between June 2008 and July 2010 despite being well enough to work.

Ian Cocker, prosecuting on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), said that claims for incapacity benefit and disability living allowance were “false from the start”.

He said: “So far as incapacity benefit was concerned the defendant was employed as a cleaner until 2009, even though she had said she was unable to do housework or dress herself. The benefit would have been withdrawn if the DWP knew the situation.”

Shaun Greenan, mitigating, said that Gordon was in fact in poor health and suffered from chronic arthritis.

He added that even though she had been medically assessed and approved to receive benefits, she “misguidedly continued to apply for work”.

Mr Greenan said: “My client didn’t realise that by applying for work she was jeopardising the situation. There were family debts, her husband was in and out of work and it was causing a strain on the family purse.”

Mr Greenan added that Gordon would only earn between £20 and £50 a week and was not working at all for a large part of the claim.

He said: “My client is 60 years old and has never been in trouble before. She has somewhat naively blundered into this situation.”

The defendant was given a three-month electronically-controlled curfew from 10pm to 6am, seven days a week.

She was also ordered to pay £80 court costs.