Jail for benefit cheat

A MOTHER who netted £23,000 by making false housing and council tax benefits claims wept as she was jailed for four months.Dawn Treby, who has two daughters aged eight and six, filled in benefit forms without mentioning that her then husband lived with her and was contributing to the household.

A MOTHER who netted £23,000 by making false housing and council tax benefits claims wept as she was jailed for four months.

Dawn Treby, who has two daughters aged eight and six, filled in benefit forms without mentioning that her then husband lived with her and was contributing to the household.

Treby, 39, formerly from Rendlesham, but now living in Levington Lane, Bucklesham, admitted nine offences of fraudulently obtaining £23,611 housing benefit and council tax benefit between July 1998 and October 2003.

Rosalyn Mandil-Wade, prosecuting for Suffolk Coastal District Council, said Treby had admitted making false claims for benefit since 1995 totalling £32,000, but she had only been charged with offences since 1998.

Treby made claims for income support totalling £42,000 between 1995 and 2003, which were being pursued by the authorities in the civil courts.

Ipswich Crown Court heard investigations into Treby had started in February 2004 after the council had received information that she was not a single parent and had a husband living with her.

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"There was also information given about some of the items they owned and it was noted they had a car, a motorbike and a caravan in which they regularly went on camping holidays," said Mrs Mandil-Wade.

But she accepted the money obtained by Treby had not been used to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Mrs Mandil-Wade said at the time the fraudulent claims had been made Treby had been living with her then husband Paul, who had been in full-time employment and contributing to the household.

Jailing Treby yesterday, Judge John Holt said: "It wasn't necessary to commit this fraud to get you above the poverty line. Having said that I am satisfied you weren't living a luxurious lifestyle, merely a comfortable one.

"I am satisfied that your ex-husband played a part in this and he has survived unscathed."

The judge added Treby was of previous good character and since last August had been repaying the money she had obtained at the rate of £29 a week.

Nick Yeo, mitigating, said Treby had been put under pressure by her ex-husband to commit the offences. "It was an abusive relationship," he added.

Mr Yeo said since her ex-husband left her a year ago Treby had been the sole carer for her two daughters.

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