March benefit cheat woman given 12-month suspended jail sentence .

Scales of justice

Scales of justice - Credit: Archant

A 30-year-old woman from March has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, after dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in benefits.

Kerry Squire (nee Jackson), of Peyton Avenue, March, claimed Housing Benefit, Income Support and Council Tax Benefit as a lone parent between 2009 and 2013.

But a joint investigation by Fenland District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions revealed that over that period she was living with Kevin Squire and that they had married in August 2010.

Mrs Squire was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court at the end of January, having earlier pleaded guilty to seven counts of dishonestly claiming benefits.

She had claimed more than £15,200 in Housing Benefit, £8,000 in Income Support and £1,800 in Council Tax Benefit.

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On top of the suspended prison sentence she was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid community work. She will also have to repay all the money owed.

Councillor Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for benefits, said: “We’re pleased to have secured this result and hope this sentence sends out a very clear message that we and the courts take this kind of major benefit fraud very seriously.

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“We go to great lengths with the DWP to investigate any suspected cases and prosecute those shown to be deliberately cheating the system.”

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