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Ipswich: Benefit cheat fiddled nearly £49,000 from taxpayer

12:00 27 January 2014

Benefit cheat in court

Benefit cheat in court

An Ipswich benefit cheat who admitted fiddling more than £48,000 from the taypayer has been spared jail.

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Emma O’Connor, of Packard Avenue, admitted five offences when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

The 36-year-old admitted dishonestly failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), and Ipswich Borough Council she was living with her partner while still claiming benefits.

The offences spanned periods over three-and-a-half years, with the overpayments made totalling £48,684.

O’Connor pleaded guilty knowingly being concerned in the fraudulent payment of tax credits from the DWP. These amounted to £33,581.27.

She also admitted fiddling £10,021.55 in housing benefit and £3,694.81 in council tax benefit.

In addition O’Connor falsely claimed £2,386.97 in income support from the DWP.

Ipswich magistrates gave O’Connor a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She must also undertake a supervision requirement.

O’Connor was also ordered to pay £100 towards prosecution costs and £80 to the victims’ fund.

She is also expected to repay the £48,000 over a period of time.

After the case Councillor Martin Cook, Ipswich Borough Council’s Resources portfolio-holder, said: “This is a very satisfactory result. We are determined to pursue benefit fraudsters whenever it is possible to do so on behalf of all council tax-payers. Our fraud team is both vigilant and determined.

“Our message is: there is no hiding place for fraudsters.”

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15 comments

  • Old news, SCDC fiddle me as a taxpayer every month and they can't even leave the streetlights on past midnight. No suprise that there is a massive increase in vehicle break in's on my road.

    Report this comment

    Dave Martin

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • satisfactory result mr Cook . 3 years to catch a criminal is not a result its an Embracement. Nice to see that routine checks where being preformed . what a Joke

    Report this comment

    confused.com

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • What a soft sentence, 50k over 3 years and all you get is a supervision order which by the way are the easiest form of probation orders! So if I were to rob a bank for 50k does that mean I wouldn't go to prison, don't think so. What an insult and a let off. British justice what a joke!

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Occold ,why would you hope that ? - hardly fair on her children - it's not their fault

    Report this comment

    andy allen

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Just as a matter of interest, how much WOULD you need to steal before a custodial sentence is considered?

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Well, I've got to say, the problem lays at the feet of the Governments, past and present, question, are they ever checked out, answer rarely.

    Report this comment

    Keith Drury

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Old news, SCDC fiddle me as a taxpayer every month and they can't even leave the streetlights on past midnight. No suprise that there is a massive increase in vehicle break in's on my road.

    Report this comment

    Dave Martin

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • So break the law if you have children and get a different sentence to if you don't,thought the law was supposed to be the same for all!!! weak judge again

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Occold ,why would you hope that ? - hardly fair on her children - it's not their fault

    Report this comment

    andy allen

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • She only did to the government what they do to everyone else. But the government doesnt like their own medicine do they. Maybe she should have told the judge it was to help a bunch of imigrants enter the country then she would have recieved an MBE for it

    Report this comment

    Mr cynical

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Well its nothing compared to what were footing out to the immigrant's who claim for all their kid's back in their home country , , plus if they had put her in jail they would have to foster all her fatherless kid's out i suspect

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    MIGUEL100

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • "She is expected to repay over a period of time". Let's hope the debt can be passed on to her children, grand-children and great grand-children. Because that's the only way that will be paid back.

    Report this comment

    Occold335

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • So break the law if you have children and get a different sentence to if you don't,thought the law was supposed to be the same for all!!! weak judge again

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Perhaps I was a bit harsh wishing it on her children. But you tell me Andy who will pay this debt off? She wont.

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    Occold335

    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Our message is there is no hiding place for fraudsters. People that carry out this type of offence must be quaking in their boots a 12 week suspended sentence for stealing 50k of taxpayers money. She will probaly have to pay back max £5 a week which will take her 208 years to pay back. Also the money deducted will be from her benefits anyway so we pay twice what a system we have in this country.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Monday, January 27, 2014

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