A MOTHER-of-three illegally accepted more than £11,000 in benefits after claiming she was raising her children alone, a court has been told.
Georgina Tuck, 24, told the Department for Work and Pensions that she was looking after two children alone when she initially claimed income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit in 2008.
But investigations by the authority in 2012 showed she was in fact living with the father of two of two of her children – a man named Brian Abbot – ‘as husband and wife’ and had been falsely claiming the benefits for some time.
Helen Newport, prosecuting, told Burton Magistrates’ Court: “It was discovered that there was a substantial amount of evidence that linked Mr Abbot with Miss Tuck’s address.
“On two accounts he himself had claimed benefit from her previous address and where she is now.
“Clearly this is an indication that he was part and parcel of her household.”
Investigators also found that Mr Abbot had wages paid into Tuck’s bank account, and that he had put her as his next of kin at work.
Tuck, 24, falsely claimed a total of £11,389.50 between May 2011 and December 2012.
Arrangements have already been put in place for the money to be paid back, but there will be no interest attached.
“It’s like an interest-free loan of £11,000,” Mrs Newport said during Friday’s hearing
Tuck initially denied two charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances which affected entitlement to benefits.
It was only after a trial had already started that she admitted that she and Mr Abbot were living together.
Doug Walton, mitigating, suggested to magistrates that Tuck, of Delhi Close, Burton, was not at fault.
“Miss Tuck has three children, and two by Mr Abbot.
“Mr Abbot is 30 years older than she is. Perhaps it is he who should be standing before for court, because I think he was one of the guiding lights in this.”
Magistrates sentenced Tuck to a 12-month community order, with 100 hours’ unpaid work, supervision and an education course requirement. She has to pay £620 costs.