A Corsham woman will have to repay more than £16,000 in overpaid benefits after she was sentenced for six counts of fraud on Tuesday.

Susan Winter, 59, falsely claimed £16,256.14 of housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support between November 6, 2006, and April 24, 2011.

The deception was discovered following a joint investigation between Wiltshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Winter, of Nine Acre Drive, failed to declare her employment as a waitress while claiming benefits between November 2006 and February 2007.

In September 2007 she resumed work, but began claiming income support on the basis she was incapable of work from April 2008, providing medical certificates to that effect.

After this she failed to attend appointments with investigators, and made false claims about the dates she had been working.

When presented with evidence of wages paid into her bank account she denied working on those dates, claiming she was just ‘on the books’. Her employer confirmed she had carried out her duties.

Winter was sentenced to 16 weeks custody, suspended for two years, and issued a 12 month supervision order at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court, with a previous conviction taken into account.

To report benefit fraud call Wiltshire Council’s confidential hotline on 01249 706256 or the National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854440, or visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/benefitfraud.