Sky TV catches out benefit cheat mum

A FRAUDSTER who wrongfully claimed thousands of pounds in benefits will serve a community order.

Fiona Reeves, 37, of High Croft, Wheatley, Halifax, received almost £11,000 in council tax and housing benefit while she was registered as a single parent – but was living with her partner for three years.

Bradford Crown Court heard in December 2003 Reeves made her original benefit claim, which was legitimate, and began receiving the financial assistance.

However, on Christmas Day 2006 the father of her child moved back into the house and she failed to declare this to the authorities.

Reeves eventually received £8,974 in housing benefit and £1,772 in council tax benefit, a total of £10,746.

The investigating benefits team discovered the fraudulent behaviour after credit card and financial applications had been made at the address in her partner’s name.

He had even registered their Sky television subscription in his name.

Recorder Henry Prosser said: “Many think benefit fraud is a victimless offence but governments and local authorities are funded by taxpayers.

“With some hesitation I have decided the appropriate sentece is a community order.”

Reeves pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to notify a change of circumstances.

She was given an 18 month community service order and will be subject to a supervision order during that period.