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Norwich benefit cheats at court

PUBLISHED: 07:41 26 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:23 26 April 2013

Benefit cheats at court

Benefit cheats at court

Archant © 2011

Two Norwich benefit cheats who between them falsely claimed more than £11,000 have been sentenced at the city's magistrates' court.

Emma Mutton, 31, from Hellesdon Close, near Marl Pit Lane, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud over a period of six months between January and July last year.

Prosecutor, Denis King said that she claimed £2,292.18 in jobseekers’ allowance, housing and council tax benefits. The court heard that she had been claiming benefits while she worked between 20 and 30 hours a week in a pub, between January and May last year.

Malcolm Robins, for Mutton, said: “She was in grave financial difficulties, a single woman in hock to the utilities companies for £2,000. This was a quick fix to relieve her imminent financial burden. She needed to get back on her feet and was at a point where she was going to lose her home.”

She was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.

Meanwhile, Christine Pearce, 59, from Old Grove Court, off Catton Grove Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud between July 2010 and April 2012.

Prosecutor, Mr King said that she failed to notify Norwich City Council that her husband Robin was working, which affected her entitlement to council tax benefit. And she also did not tell the Department for Work and Pensions that he was in employment, which affected her entitlement to income support. He said she had been overpaid £8855.38.

Chris Brown, for Pearce, said that she had worked hard throughout her life and, as a single parent, had paid for her son to go to university, and become a doctor. He said she was separated from her husband but they had lived together for a time in Norfolk, before he moved back to London, after finding work.

He said: “His instructions to her when he left were that he would sort out the benefits, etc., but it was her responsibility to let the authorities know, if there was a change of circumstances. She’s extremely remorseful.” She was handed a 2-year conditional discharge and must pay £100 costs.

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