A woman who fraudulently claimed almost £70,000 in benefits over a six-year period has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.
Michelle Page, aged 46, of Earls Barton Road, Great Doddington, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after she admitted falsely claiming income support, employment support allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit while she was living with her husband.
The court heard Page claimed a total of £68,769 she wasn’t entitled to between January 2007 and July 2013.
Andrew Keogh, prosecuting, said an investigation by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that Page’s husband had a credit card account and a Sky subscription registered in his name at her address, despite the fact she was claiming an allowance as a single parent of three children.
His Honour Judge Timothy Smith said she had claimed an “enormous” amount of money that could have gone to “more deserving” people making claims for income support.
He sentenced Page to one year in prison, suspended for 12 months. Page was also given a nine-month curfew order from 8pm until 7am. She must also complete a six-month alcohol treatment order.
The court heard Page was paying the DWP back at a rate of £240 a month.