Caught cheating the system

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Lynn Kelly claimed benefits worth over £10,000 that she was not entitled to.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told last Thursday the 32-year-old from 20 Kennilworth Drive, Laurieston, pocketed over £5500 in child tax credits and £5800 income support allowance between 2012 and 2016.

She had admitted the fraud at an earlier court and appeared last week for sentence.

The court heard Kelly was living in Westquarter Avenue, Falkirk, when she obtained the cash for her kids by failing to report she was living with a man who had a full time job.

Between 2014 and 2016 at the same address Kelly also made false statements to the Department for Work and Pensions to bank more money by saying she was separated and did not have a partner, when in fact she had a partner and was running a household with him.

When she was interviewed in March last year Kelly admitted Graeme Jaffra was living with her, was the father of one of her three children and helping out financially.

As a direct alternative to custody, Sheriff Derek Livingston placed Kelly on a community payback order with the added condition she complete 180 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

Defence lawyer Neil Hay claimed: “Circumstances were one thing at the start of this and different at the end of it. She is still claiming benefits and a student on a work placement, but will find time to do the unpaid work”

Sheriff Livingston said: “She had a head in the sand attitude.”