Shirebrook benefit cheat ordered to pay back £18,000

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A Shirebrook woman has been ordered to pay back over £18,000 in benefits she dishonestly claimed.

A joint investigation by Bolsover District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) saw Tracey Hayward (48), of Church Drive, prosecuted at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates Court for falsely claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support.

Hayward admitted failing to declare that she had returned to live with her partner in June 2008 and continued to claim benefits as a single parent at her former privately rented address. 

Together with having to pay the overpaid benefits back, the defendant was given a Community Order for 12 months, during which she has to undertake 160 hours’ unpaid work, and was also ordered to pay costs of £100.

Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Efficiencies, CounDuncan McGregor said: “In general terms what this boils down to is benefit theft. This case stems back to 2008, that’s nearly three years, where the defendant was claiming money that was not rightfully hers, money that could have helped someone who is actually in need.

“She had every opportunity to give us the right information and stop claiming, but people think they can get away with it. Well we are telling you that you won’t.”

If you know of anyone who you suspect is committing benefit fraud, contact the Council, on 01246 242444 or email fraud@bolsover.gov.uk