Ex-advisor accused of being benefit cheat

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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A former council benefits advisor has made her first appearance at court accused of illegally claiming £19,000 in benefits.

Anita Cockbain, of Kingston Close, Knott End, an ex Wyre Borough Council Contacts Centre officer, faces five charges.

She appeared at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday accused of three offences of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances and two offences of dishonestly making a false statement to obtain benefits.

The 43-year-old woman is alleged to have illegally claimed Disability Living Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions by failing to reveal to benefits officials that her physical capabilities had improved.

She is also said to have illegally claimed council tax and housing benefits from her former employers Wyre Borough Council.

The offences are alleged to have taken place over six years between April 2008 and June last year.

Defence lawyer, Kathryn Jamieson-Sinclair, asked the court for an adjournment to make representations to the authorities and to obtain medical evidence from her client’s doctor.

Prosecutor, Harold Smith, did not object to the adjournment.

Blackpool magistrates adjourned Cockbain’s case to Monday April 7.