Barnsley benefits cheats claimed £45,000

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A South Yorkshire couple have been jailed for six months after fraudulently claiming more than £45,000 in benefits.

Beverley Allott, aged 51, and Paul Allott, 54, of Cumberland Road, Hoyland, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to benefit fraud at Sheffield Crown Court.

The court heard they made dishonest claims between January 2004 and January 2011 after failing to notify Barnsley Council and the Department for Work and Pensions about changes in their financial circumstances.

They failed to tell the authorities Mr Allott had received a number of lump sums – £45,000, £15,000 and £10,000,

They also failed to declare periods when they were both working and the start of pension payments, which affected their entitlement to Income Support, Housing and Council Tax benefits.

The couple also submitted several false claim forms, by failing to declare their true circumstances in order to keep receiving benefits.

They received £45,313.31 in benefits to which they were not entitled.

Mrs Allott pleaded guilty to 12 counts and her husband to 13 counts of fraud.

Judge Simon Lawler QC, sentencing the pair, said they were of previous good character and entitled to receive credit for their guilty pleas.

But he said not only were the offences persistent but were over a long period and the dishonesty took many forms during that time.

He added they were both motivated by financial gain.

Judge Lawler jailed them both for six months despite hearing they were attempting to pay back the money.