£23k benefit cheat ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work


A woman who falsely claimed more than £23,000 in benefits has been given a community order to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.

Amanda Holmes, 40, of Mill Road, Three Bridges, pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on January 22.

Holmes fraudulently obtained £22,994.68 in housing benefit by creating a false tenancy agreement for a property in Scallows Road, Three Bridges.

Holmes hid the fact that her ex partner - the father of one of her children - was the owner of the property, said Crawley Brorough Council.

This fact would have stopped her from being able to claim housing benefit.

She also fraudulently obtained £196.35 of income support from the Department of Work and Pensions when she failed to declare that she had moved in with her partner.

Holmes must undertake 150 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

The housing benefit overpayment must also be paid back to the council. Arrangements are being made to recover the money.

Cllr Howard Bloom, leader of the Crawley Borough Council, said: “The council takes a very serious view of people who obtain benefit when they are not entitled to it.

“We are committed to detecting and prosecuting people who commit benefit fraud. Any claimant whose circumstances change should contact us immediately.”