Benefit fraud woman appears in court

A POCKLINGTON woman who admitted benefit fraud has been given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to repay the money she claimed, by Beverley magistrates last week.

Sharon Goddard, 35, of Edward Street, admitted dishonestly failing to give prompt notification of a change in circumstances affecting her entitlement to housing and council tax benefit and will now have to repay £2,881.91.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council investigators established that Mrs Goddard had failed to declare that she had been working during the period 1st February 2010 to 23rd March 2012.

In addition to repaying the money, Goddard was also told to pay £312 costs.

Speaking after the judgment, Richard Johnson, sanctions officer at East Riding Council, said: “Data matching with other agencies is proving to be a highly effective tool in the fight against benefit fraud.

“The message is clear - it is only a matter of time before those who choose to deliberately obtain benefit dishonestly are brought before the 
courts.”

If you suspect someone is committing benefit fraud in the East Riding area call the 24-hour benefit fraud hotline in confidence on 01482 394949, text 07786 200 850, or email benefit.fraud@eastriding.gov.uk