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Form plea by working mum on benefits

PUBLISHED: 12:31 07 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 March 2010

AN Ipswich mother, who is 60 today, told a court she had not realised she could not work while claiming benefits.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that in 1994 Sheila Hayward, who was receiving incapacity benefits because she suffered from osteoarthritis in her hands, became a cleaner.

AN Ipswich mother, who is 60 today, told a court she had not realised she could not work while claiming benefits.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that in 1994 Sheila Hayward, who was receiving incapacity benefits because she suffered from osteoarthritis in her hands, became a cleaner.

Hayward, of Barronsdale Close, told the court her son Barry, 37, could not work due to his epilepsy and had always lived at home with her.

She said she could not get by on incapacity benefits so she applied for a job as a cleaner at Alders Department Store.

Hayward told the court she had telephoned the benefits agency and had been told she could work up to 15 hours a week without her benefits being affected.

However, in 1996 Hayward was sent a form to update her records, and when asked are you working for an employer, she ticked the no box.

Hayward said: " I'm no good

with forms, I don't understand them."

Hayward denied six specimen charges of falsely claiming benefits between May 1999 and February 2000. The court heard that those claiming incapacity benefit could sometimes work whilst claiming but only under certain conditions.

The trial continues.


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