Woman lied to claim £17,000 in benefits

Derby Magistrates' Court
Derby Magistrates' Court

An Ilkeston woman claimed more than £17,000 in benefits she wasn’t entitled to.

Linda Lowe, 58, of Winderemere Avenue appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

She had previously pleaded guilty to failing to notify the relevant authorities that her husband Bill was living with her between September 2003 and July 2010.

Magistrates imposed a 20-week prison term, suspended for 12 months.

The court heard that the total amount of money Lowe had claimed, that she will have to pay back, was £17,115.56 Of this £6,490.75 was income support, £8,122.99 was housing benefit and £2,501.82 was council tax.

Lowe failed to disclose that her husband lived in the house and had signed forms saying she was the sole occupier. However, Erewash Borough Council received information that her partner was living with her.

In interview she said she knew the rules and that Bill was her boyfriend but she was not living with him. She was asked why she had put her marital status as divorced but she could not answer. She was also asked why she had called him Bill Hunt but she said she didn’t know.

Defending, Tim Smith said: “She should have notified someone. She knows that and accepts that.

“He does not live with her anymore and is her carer.”

He called it a ‘slightly unusual situation.’

“As a result of this she has suffered an enormous amount of abuse from local residents and has had excrement smeared on her house.”

She was told by magistrates:“You know you were in the wrong- you’ve got problems. You now have a record for this offence.”

Lowe must also pay costs of £280.