Pensioner guilty of defrauding DWP of thousands

Calderdale Magistrates Court.
Calderdale Magistrates Court.

An ill health pensioner pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of thousands of pounds.

In 2006, Rita Byrnes, 66, of Dodge Holme Gardens, Mixenden, Halifax, did not tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Halifax, she was in receipt of a monthly pension of 294 euros from St Munchins Maternity Hospital in Ireland.

Byrnes also with held other income and the fact she had an Irish bank account.

From 2007-12, Byrnes received payments she was not entitled to receive of £16,733.

Prosecution Kathryn Pritters told Calderdale Magistrates’ Byrne failed to notify the DWP of her extra income as she did not want the friend who attended the interview with her “to know her business.”

Mitigation Aman Mahroof said the mother of five and grand-mother of four, who suffers from heart problems and arthritis, was so frightened about coming before the court she thought she might pass out.

The court heard Byrnes is re-paying Benefits Agency at £18 per week, since November 2013.

Magistrates’ fined the pensioner £110 and ordered her to pay £85 costs an £20 victim surcharge for fraud.