Leicester mum Kelly Robinson guilty of £15,000 fraud
A woman who dishonestly pocketed £15,000 in benefits to which she was not entitled has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Kelly Robinson (36) initially began claiming income support and housing and council tax benefits legitimately as a single mother.
However, she failed to notify the authorities when her then partner, who was employed, lived with her between June 2009 and May 2011.
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said if Robinson had declared her then partner was living with her in Mere Road, Spinney Hills, Leicester, she would not have been eligible for state benefits.
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Mr Bide-Thomas told Leicester Crown Court surveillance showed the man – the father of Robinson's third child – was living there.
Robinson admitted two counts of benefit fraud, involving a total of £15,000.
She was given a four-week jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Simon Hammond told her: "Benefits are for the needy, not the greedy.
"During an investigation, surveillance showed a man was living there on a regular basis at the relevant time."
Richard Holloway, mitigating, said: "She's of previous good character and the sole carer of her three children, aged three, 12 and 15."
He said the defendant's former partner would "come and go" and did not regularly give her money.
He said: "She was concerned if she came clean to the authorities about the relationship she might have ended up being left with no income at all."
He said the relationship was now over. In 2011, Robinson took out a protection from harassment order against him.
Mr Holloway said: "He's been taunting her about the outcome of today's proceedings."
He said Robinson should be given credit for her guilty plea and that it "was not a fraudulent claim from the outset".
She began genuinely claiming benefits in 1997 but accepted she should have notified the benefits agencies when her domestic situation changed.
Mr Holloway said the defendant had since been on a training course and hoped to find employment.
The court heard the authorities were in the process of reclaiming the money.