Ipswich benefit cheat falsely claimed nearly £3,000, court told

PUBLISHED: 09:54 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:54 03 May 2017

Jailed prison worker must pay back £8,200. Photo PA

Jailed prison worker must pay back £8,200. Photo PA


An Ipswich benefit cheat has apologised to a court after she claimed nearly £3,000 of public money she was not entitled to.

Sara Ottery, 52, of Nacton Road, pleaded guilty before Ipswich magistrates to dishonestly failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of a change in her circumstances.

The offence occurred between January 23, 2015, and August 5, 2015.

The court heard the claim for Employment Support Allowance started out as a legitimate one, but then Ottery failed to tell the DWP she had got back together with her estranged husband James.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said Ottery then claimed an overpayment for 27 weeks and six days which totalled £2,834.46.

Ottery had originally told the DWP she was a single parent and was unfit for work.

Ottery, representing herself, told the court: “I’m really sorry that it happened.”

She has currently paid back £500 of the overclaim.

Ottery was given a community order with a 40-hour unpaid work requirement. Ottery was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and £85 to the victims’ fund.

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