11:00AM, Saturday 25 May 2013
A benefit cheat has received a suspended jail sentence and a six-month tagged curfew after dishonestly pocketing almost £24,000.
Jean Hewitt, 62, of Birchington Road in Windsor, received £23,920.63 of overpayments between March 2009 and September 2011 after she failed to declare she was living with a partner while receiving housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support as a single person while living at a house in Westmead.
She was found guilty of six offences of dishonestly failing to notify a chance in circumstances at Reading Magistrates' Court on Thursday, April 25.
Hewitt appeared at the same court on Thursday and was sentenced to seven months' imprisonment for each offence, suspended for two years, and given a six-month, electronically monitored curfew between 6pm and 6am.
Cllr Simon Dudley, Royal Borough cabinet member for finance, said: "The very few residents in the borough who perpetrate benefit fraud should understand that the Royal Borough's fraud investigation team and partners are very successful in finding and prosecuting benefit cheats. This case should serve as a warning – those who intentionally defraud the taxpayer are very likely to be found out."
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An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.