Stutton: Woman gets community order after falsely claiming more than £14,000 in benefits

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A woman who was awarded more than £100,000 from Essex police after her fiance died has been caught dishonestly claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Emma Anderson, of Stutton, near Ipswich, received more than £14,481 in overpaid benefits after she failed to tell Babergh District Council about her change in circumstances.

Anderson appeared before West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court where she was sentenced to 40 hours unpaid work.

The court heard how she had spent the £105,000 she had received from Essex police after her partner died while on duty over a nine month period.

John Snell, corporate manager for internal audit at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, said: “The tragic circumstances of this case make it difficult to take satisfaction in this prosecution, but we must ensure that this money, which is intended for the most vulnerable in society, reaches those who need it most.

“The Benefits Investigation Team will continue to reveal and prosecute those who wrongfully claim welfare, and it is important that everyone understands that they cannot get away with this kind of fraud.”

Anderson, who twice failed to appear in court, pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to declare changes in her circumstances.

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The court also imposed a 12 month supervision order with Anderson being ordered to pay £300 in costs.

She had received overpayments in Housing Benefit of £7,514, £6,639 in Income Support and £328 in Council Tax Benefit.