A WOMAN who claimed thousands of pounds in benefits that she was not entitled to has been ordered to repay the money back, after pleading guilty to two offences of benefit fraud at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court.

Donna Brown, of North Place, Hitchin, pleaded guilty to the two offences of benefit fraud on December 6, 2010.

She dishonestly failed to notify a change in her circumstances, that her partner was working, between July 9, 2007 and March 7, 2010.

In that time, she claimed �8,295.98 in Housing Benefit and �2,675.90 in Council Tax Benefit, neither of which she was entitled to.

Following probation reports, Brown was sentenced on December 29, 2010 to 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months as well as the costs that was told to repay.

She also has to complete 200 hours of unpaid work under supervision and contribute �500 towards North Herts District Council’s legal costs.

“We have one message for residents who claim benefits they are not entitled to- North Herts District Council will not tolerate this kind of behaviour,” said Cllr Terry Hone, portfolio holder for finance.

“We will always act promptly and we will prosecute. Don’t be tempted to keep quiet if your circumstances change. It simply isn’t worth it.”

NHDC operates a fraud hotline number, which can be reached on 01462 474 436.