Suffolk widow received £28,000 in benefits after failing to declare cleaning job

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN - 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.”

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.

Most Read

She had been repaying the amount she was overpaid since March last year and had now repaid £550.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter