30th September 2016
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Unpaid work for £20k benefits fraud mother

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A woman who defrauded almost £20,000 from the benefits system has been ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Jacquelyn Graham, 35, of Sandveien was also placed under supervision and ordered to wear a tag for six months after she admitted fraudulently obtaining housing benefit and income support between 2nd April 2010 and 30th July 2014.

She took £10,040 in income support and £9,925 council tax benefit to feed and look after her three children.

Sentence had been deferred to allow Graham to sort out a repayment plan.

In court this week, defence agent Tommy Allan said Graham was working away at three separate jobs.

He said the DWP were able to take 20 per cent of Graham’s earnings to cover the debt. However, that figure is due to rise to 40 per cent from April.

“Without going to court it would seem they have power to deduct from her earnings.”

The court also heard that one of Graham’s jobs was with the SIC, for which she worked as a cleaner.

Mr Allan said that Graham enjoyed the support of her family. He said that she would be prepared to “make time” to carry out hours of unpaid work.

The court previously heard that Graham, who had been hit by a car when young and had suffered a minor stroke and post-traumatic stress disorder, was on medication.

Her overall well-being had deteriorated since her setbacks and her medication had affected her functioning and ability to cope.

The court had also heard Graham, according to a social inquiry report, had a partner who also benefited from the money and did not contribute to the household.

Sheriff Philip Mann placed Graham on an 18-month supervision order. She must complete her hours of work in half that time.