Suspended jail term for benefit cheat

Published on: Monday, 10-November-2014

A woman falsely claimed £20,000 in benefits on the basis that she was single – but posted pictures on Facebook of her Spanish holiday with her partner.

Stephanie Redmond has been given a 24 week jail sentence suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and handed a six week curfew order.

She pleaded guilty to five offences of falsely claiming Income Support from the Department of Work and Pensions, and Housing and Council Tax benefit from Knowsley Council and Liverpool City Council.

The 36 year old claimed that she was single and lived only with her two young children at properties in Gateacre, Halewood and, finally, her current address on East Millwood Road in Liverpool.

An investigation led by Knowsley Council found that Redmond had, in fact, been living with her partner throughout the three years and seven months she had been falsely claiming the benefits.

In addition to her suspended jail term, unpaid work and curfew, Redmond has been ordered to pay £75 costs and £80 victim surcharge, as well as repaying the £20,000 she falsely claimed.

A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “This case is an excellent example of how partner organisations work closely together to investigate benefit fraud and bring about prosecutions against offenders.

“Our investigators rigorously pursue all allegations of fraud. We will simply not tolerate benefit cheats taking money they are not entitled to and which should be used for the good of the community.”

Residents with information about benefit fraud can contact Knowsley Council’s Fraud Hotline anonymously on 0800 073 0532.

 If any resident has a change in circumstances which may affect their benefit entitlement, they should contact the council immediately.