Benefits cheat mum caught for second time

Share this article

A second-time benefits cheat received £13,000 pretending to be a single mum, while posting on social media her partner was organising a holiday and that his wallet had been “robbed” from her house.

Burnley magistrates heard how ex-drug addict Andrea Burton (42) did not tell the authorities when Gary Williams, the father of her child, moved in and they were living as husband and wife.

Mr Williams had emailed his boss, changing his address to Burton’s and his bank account was registered to her home, as was his passport and driving licence. Mr Williams was earning £1,700 a month, putting cash in the “family pot” and paying for breaks away during the year-long scam by the defendant.

Burton, of Tabor Street, Burnley, admitted failing to promptly notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change of circumstances, between September 2013 and October 2014, failing to disclose information and notify Burnley Council of a change in circumstances.

The defendant, who was convicted of benefit fraud in 2005, received six weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, with £85 costs, an £80 victim surcharge and £180 criminal courts charge.

Prosecutor Alex Mann said Burton claimed benefits from 2012 and income support, housing benefit and tax credits. She claimed on the basis she was a single parent, with one dependent child and lived alone with no partner in the house. The defendant stated she had no income other than child benefit.

Nick Cassidy (defending) said Burton was paying back the benefits money at £100 a month.