A MUM-of-four from Whitehaven has been given a suspended prison sentence for a £31,500 benefits fiddle.
Katie Elaine Mattinson was said to have initially made legitimate claims to both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and Copeland Borough Council.
But 33-year-old Mattinson’s applications later became bogus when she failed to disclose to the DWP and council she was living together “as husband and wife” with Lee Scott after the couple rekindled a relationship.
Carlisle Crown Court heard this affected Mattinson’s entitlement during the four-year period of her offending, between 2012 and 2016.
As a result her “overpayment” for income support and housing benefit amounted to £31,535.94 – a sum which would be gradually reclaimed by both agencies.
Mattinson, a woman of previous good character from Latrigg Road, Whitehaven, was said to be in part-time work.
Judge James Adkin suspended a seven-month jail term for two years, and ordered her to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work.
Mattinson had admitted three charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.