Suffolk widow received £28,000 in benefits after failing to declare cleaning job
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A 79-year-old widow who was overpaid more than £28,000 in benefits by failing to declare her earnings as a cleaner has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Cornelia Bronson received the money over eight years and is currently repaying the overpayment at the rate of £7.65 a week, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Bronson, of Church Street, Eye, admitted failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances which would affect her entitlement to pension credit between April 2006 and December 2014.
She was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for six months without any requirements.
Sentencing her, Recorder Ian Evans said: “It would require someone with a much harder heart than me to send you to prison and that isn’t a step I’m prepared to take. However this offence does have to be marked by a custodial sentence.”
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Lynne Shirley, for Bronson, said her client had no previous convictions and had not acted dishonestly.
She said Bronson thought she could earn up to £80 a week without her benefit payments being affected.
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She had been repaying the amount she was overpaid since March last year and had now repaid £550.