Woman received £20,000 she was not entitled to

A Chippenham benefits cheat who failed to declare she owned a house will be dealt with by magistrates

A Chippenham benefits cheat who failed to declare she owned a house will be dealt with by magistrates

First published in News
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A benefits cheat who failed to declare she owned a property when she claimed state handouts has been warned she could be jailed.

Christina Dunn, 55, also did not reveal her savings when she claimed job seeker's allowance, housing and council tax benefit.

She received about £20,000 she was not entitled to by making the false claims, Swindon Crown Court was told on Friday.

Dunn, of Field View, Chippenham, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of making a false statement with a view to obtaining benefit.

From October 2009 she failed to declare she owned land or property, in the form of a house in Peterborough.

She also said she did not having any savings when in reality she had money put by in an ISA.

Dunn pleaded not guilty to a more serious charge of dishonestly making a false representation to obtain benefit and the Crown offered no evidence on that.

The court was told that the charges were summary only, meaning they should be dealt with by magistrates.

Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "These sort of offences are generally only dealt with in the magistrates' court.

"I am also going to order that there is a pre-sentence report prepared so it will mean only one more appearance for you.

"I am not giving any indication of what your sentence will be. The powers will be limited to that of the magistrates but that does include a short custodial if they think that is appropriate."

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