Benefits cheat mum is spared jail
A mother-of-five has been spared a jail term after claiming more than £34,000 in benefits illegally.
Marie Bryan (34), of Southside Drive, Braunstone Town, claimed to be a single, unemployed mum – but did not tell benefit authorities that her boyfriend, who was employed, lived with her.
Having pleaded guilty to two charges of benefit fraud over seven years, she appeared Leicester Crown Court on Thursday for sentencing.
Bryan was given a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 40 days at the Just Women Project, for vulnerable women.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC said he was offering Bryan an opportunity for a fresh start.
The overpaid benefits are being recovered by Blaby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Coun John Hudson, finance spokesman for the council, said: "In this tough economic climate the public cannot afford to pay for people who are claiming benefits they are not entitled to.
"We will continue to work with other agencies to root out fraudsters."