Supermarket worker claimed more than £6,000 of benefits she was not entitled to

A woman who failed to declare a pay rise while claiming benefits has been fined.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 3:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 4:27 pm
Preston Magistrates' Court

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard Joanne Kirby, 49, was overpaid £6,347.60 housing benefit she was not entitled to.

She was made redundant from her last job four and a half years ago but got a part time job at Morrisons.

The defendant, of Preesall Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, pleaded guilty to failing to notify Preston City Council between September 2014 and September 2017 of a change of circumstances, and has made arrangements to pay the benefits back to the authority.

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Prosecuting, Pam Ward said: “ The defendant was in receipt of housing benefit from September the previous year.

“ She told Preston City Council she had got a job at Morrisons working 17.5 hours a week. But from September 8, 2014 her wage increased.”

Defending, Michael Leach told the bench the woman had tried to take her own life in the run up to the court case.

He revealed it has since been discovered she should have been entitled to working tax credits and not housing benefit.

He added: “She has no previous convictions. She is absolutely distraught at the prospect of having a criminal conviction against her.

“Her remorse is clear. She buried her head in the sand.

“Fortunately she has extremely good friends supporting her.”

She must pay a £130 fine and a £30 victim surcharge.