Benefit cheat 'claimed tenant was lover'

A WOMAN who claimed her tenant was her lover has been found guilty of dishonestly claiming more than £1,000 in benefits.

Jane Hunt

A WOMAN who claimed her tenant was her lover has been found guilty of dishonestly claiming more than £1,000 in benefits.

Mother-of-two Trudy Girkin sub-let her home in Grove Park, Bury St Edmunds for £65 a week to Christopher Sanderson while she was living with her boyfriend in another part of Bury, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Girkin submitted application forms for council tax and housing benefit to St Edmundsbury Council giving her address as Grove Park but it was discovered that she had sub-let this property to Mr Sanderson while living with her boyfriend in Coltsfoot Crescent in Bury.

Girkin, 47 denied two offences of dishonestly failing to notify the council of a change in her circumstances between September 2005 and June 2006 but was found guilty by a jury,

Sentence was adjourned until next month for a pre-sentence report.

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During the trial Girkin claimed that Mr Sanderson had been her boyfriend, a claim which was denied by Mr Sanderson.

Ian Stebbings, prosecuting, claimed that she was lying about her relationship with Mr Sanderson because she was falsely claiming benefits while sub-letting her house to him.

Mr Stebbings said: “If you had this relationship it is fair to say you have seen him naked so you would be able to tell the jury where his prominent scars and tattoos were?

Girkin replied: “I didn't pay much attention it was dark.”

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