A £6,000 handouts cheat who was claiming incapacity benefit while working has been given a 12-week curfew.
Mother-of-two Julie Haynes had two jobs during the scam, which took place over four years and was said to have been a false claim from the outset.
Haynes was receiving cash from the state into her bank account because she had claimed she could not do any work, paid or unpaid, Pennine magistrates were earlier told.
The defendant got £6,185.32 she wasn’t entitled to between February, 2008, and January, 2012.
Haynes (45), of Hendon Road, Nelson, had earlier admitted falsely making a statement to obtain benefit to the Department for Work and Pensions on April 25th, 2008, at Nelson. She must stay indoors at her home address between 11pm and 5am, seven days a week.
Miss Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) had earlier told the court Haynes made a claim for incapacity benefit when she was working.
Evidence became available to show the defendant had been working as a self-employed collection agent for Greenwood Personal Credit and from March, 2003 she was said to have been earning between £40 and £543 a week.
Haynes starting working as a sales assistant at Boundary Mill, Colne, last November and was paid between £440 and £800 a month. Miss Akhtar said when interviewed by the DWP, the defendant fully co-operated and admitted she had been working.
Miss Jasmine Basnyet, for Haynes, said she had no previous convictions. She had been employed, was at that time “in the midst of having a breakdown” and shortly after that, in May, 2008, she left her employment with Greenwood for two years.
She was suffering from post natal depression and associated complications and became eligible for incapacity benefit.
The solicitor continued: “For the majority of the time, until she started at Boundary Mill last November, she was entitled to claim some form of incapacity benefit, albeit at a slightly reduced rate.”
The defendant volunteered to the DWP, when she was interviewed, the information she had been working at Boundary Mill. She had simply not notified the DWP because it was temporary Christmas work.
Miss Basnyet said Haynes now felt “significantly better” and had two jobs at the moment. She still worked for Greenwood and had secured a permanent position at Boundary Mill.
The solicitor added: “She is very nervous about today’s hearing. She didn’t know what to expect. She is utterly ashamed of her actions. The defendant is living hand to mouth at the moment, supporting two children on low incomes.”
The Bench told Haynes the claim was false from the start, took place over a long time, was intentional and caused harm to the public purse.
They said they were looking at a medium to high community order, with a view to unpaid work.