St Albans benefit fraud made to repay £6,700

Court report

Court report - Credit: Archant

Failing to notify the council of changes to her partner’s income resulted in a woman being given a community order and ordered to pay back more than £6,700 in housing benefit.

Kayleigh Myring, 28, of Cedar Court, St Albans, had claimed £6,777.30 more than she was entitled to over a period of three years when her partner began a new job.

Ms Bond prosecuting said: “Ms Myring confirmed in writing that her partner was earning around £144 per week as a taxi driver.”

According to Ms Bond, Ms Myring had then failed to notify the council that her partner had started a new job and was earning “between double and triple” that amount.

“Ms Myring phoned the council various times but did not tell them,” Ms Bond added.

“She confirmed that she had read the declaration. She admitted she had supplied full and correct information. She had been stupid and had allowed it to go over her head.”

But Appollonia Avanzi, defending, said: “It didn’t even cross her mind that she should notify the council.

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“This was not a person out to defraud the council; this was not motivated by greed or desire.

“This was someone who just failed to notify the council of a change in circumstances.”

She said Ms Myring was a person of good character, had no previous convictions and was already paying back the overpayment.”

She added: “Ms Myring is extremely remorseful to be before the court today.”

Myring was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and court costs of £575 to be paid back at a rate of £20 per week.

Richard Skilbeck, benefit officer at St Albans district council, said: “Where we have evidence showing that benefits claimants have failed to notify us of a change in circumstances and this has resulted in an overpayment of benefits, we will take action.”