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£12,000 benefit scam

PUBLISHED: 09:44 25 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 July 2010

A MUM-of-eight falsely claimed £12,000 in benefits by pretending to be a single mother - but would have received more if she had made a genuine claim, a court heard.

A MUM-of-eight falsely claimed £12,000 in benefits by pretending to be a single mother - but would have received more if she had made a genuine claim, a court heard.

Joanna Haylock, 37, said she was a single parent and did not declare she was in fact living with her partner in Gorleston, Norwich Crown Court heard last Friday.

Department for Work and Pensions investigators carried out observations and found Haylock had lied about her circumstances.

Haylock, of Horsley Drive, Gorleston, admitted failing to notify a change in her circumstances.

The court heard she had since paid back £3,000 of the cash and her father handed into the court a cheque for the balance of nearly £9,000 of the cash she was overpaid.

David Wilson, in mitigation, said that when the matter came to light, Haylock sought assistance from the Jobcentre and found she was entitled to more benefits than she had been claiming before, and was entitled to child tax credit.

“If she had done it honestly she would have been better off,” he said.

He said the offences were not borne out of greed but necessity, adding: “She has been shamed by what has happened.”

Judge Alasdair Darroch gave Haylock a 12-month community order and made her do 200 hours' unpaid work. She was also given a six-month curfew.

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