Benefits cheat caught speeding claims she is now broke

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A benefits cheat recently spared jail after getting her hands on more than £80,000 she wasn’t entitled to, has had a speeding fine cut after she claimed she is broke.

Ex-businesswoman Nicola Alcock (40) who is now said to be jobless and have no means, had been fined £220, with £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge, in her absence last October, after clocking up 36mph in a 30mph zone, last March.

The mother-of-two, of Red Lees Road, Cliviger, who hasn’t yet paid the £80,000 back, has now had her fine reduced to £40 with a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs by the town’s magistrates. She has to pay up at £5 a week.

Her solicitor Keith Rennison told the court Alcock was not in receipt of benefits and had no means.

Mr Rennison added: “She’s more than happy to meet the financial obligation, it’s just a little bit beyond her means.”

Last month, Alcock walked free from Burnley Crown Court, which had been told she had been claiming benefits as single mum even though she was married.

Alcock, who had been receiving housing benefit and tax credits, was caught after she posted on her company website for Barking Mad dog sitting service, that she lived in Earby with husband, Gerard Thornton. She lied when she was interviewed by the authorities and only owned up to being dishonest when she was shown her marriage certificate, a judge had heard.

The defendant had earlier admitted dishonestly failing to promptly notify Pendle Council of a change in circumstances and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent payment of tax credits. She was given eight months in custody, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work.

Alcock will face a proceeds of crime hearing at a later date.