Trowbridge mum received thousands of pounds in benefits she was not entitled to

A Trowbridge mother-of-two who received thousands of pounds in benefits she was not entitled to has been spared a jail term

A Trowbridge mother-of-two who received thousands of pounds in benefits she was not entitled to has been spared a jail term

First published in News

A Trowbridge mother-of-two who received thousands of pounds in benefits she was not entitled to has been spared a jail term.

Kirsty Wallis, 27, claimed she was a single mum renting a room from her landlord when in reality she was living with her partner.

James Tucker, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Friday that when she filled out claims forms she said she was a lone parent.

"She failed to indicate that she had a relationship which became indeed a marriage which she failed to disclose," he said.

"That affected her entitlement to benefit. When investigated she said she was married but a separation had taken place soon after the marriage."

She had received £11,638.24p she was not entitled to between September 2011 and August 2012.

Wallis, of Bramley Lane, had denied two counts of making a false statement and two of failing to notify change in circumstance to obtain in work credit and housing benefit but was found guilty by magistrates.

Cathy Thornton, defending, said Wallis had paid back more than £2,000 and was still handing over at least £50 a month from her wages. She was now working at Moto services as she brought up her children and paid back the money.

She said when her client and Steven Wallis had got together she quickly became pregnant and she had effectively become a tenant of her partner. 

But when she submitted a housing benefit form it asked whether she was related to her landlord and she ticked the 'no' box .

"They were not together at that time," said Ms Thornton.

"Even if she had ticked 'yes' it would not have precluded her from receiving the benefit.

"At one point, when the relationship stabilised, they went to Greece and got married. When they returned, the very same day they separated."

Imposing a one-year community order with 75 hours of unpaid work, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "You have no real excuse for what you did."

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