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Woman who received over £9,000 in illegal benefits is placed under an eight-week curfew

A woman who claimed over £9,000 in illegal benefits has been punished with a community order with an eight-week curfew.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court recently heard how Mary Ann Robinson, 52, of De Lacy Court, New Ollerton, claimed £9,267.40 in illegal claims for Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance when she had been receiving undeclared payments from a divorce.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said: “The defendant has been claiming ESA and JSA on the grounds she was unable to work and had no income but she failed to declare a monthly income.”

Mrs Bickley revealed that Robinson had been receiving a monthly income from her former husband who was making monthly payments as part of a divorce settlement.

Robinson told investigators that the money was from the sale of a house she shared with her husband and she had believed it should have been for her personal use and she did not declare it to the authorities.

The defendant pleaded guilty to claiming JSA in August, 2016, and ESA in October, 2016, after making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions by failing to declare she was receiving money from her former husband.

Defence solicitor Serena Simpson said she felt she did not need to declare the money but now she accepts she should have made the benefits agency aware and it was a mistake.

Miss Simpson added that Robinson suffers with rheumatoid osteoarthritis and is unable to walk and needs medication.

Magistrates sentenced Robinson on September 26 to a community order lasting until November 20, 2018, with an eight-week curfew.

She was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The court heard that the money owed to the DWP is being recovered.