Suspended prison term for £58,000 benefit cheat mum

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A MOTHER of four who falsely claimed £58,000 in benefits, has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Kirsty Jones (32), of The Oval, Sutton, failed to notify the authoriites that her partner Alan Townsend was living with her, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

She admitted receiving income support, as well as housing and council tax benefits, over four and a half years up to June 2008.

Jones began claiming in 2003 on the basis she was a lone parent with two children and a third expected, and had separated from Mr Townsend, said Fayez Afzal. prosecuting on Monday.

When their fourth child was born they obtained a birth certificate and both gave the same address, the court heard. Other information linked them to the address.

Jones had no previous convictions, but had a caution for undeclared child support agency payments.

Judge James Sampson said he held back from an immediate prison sentence because more than two years had elapsed since the proceedings began. Also Jones was the main carer for her children, aged 6 to 12.

The sentence was six months prison suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work to do and £400 prosecution costs to pay.