A Stevenage woman has been fined £170 after pleading guilty to six counts of benefit fraud, having received an overpayment of £7,500.

Kim Newman, of York Road, appeared at Stevenage Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how she had applied in 2014 for housing benefit and a reduction of her council tax.

In 2018 it was discovered that she had failed to declare changes to her income in respect of her salary, and had also failed to declare any income for her adult children.

Both housing benefit and council tax reduction are means tested and Newman had a duty to inform the council of the changes in household income. As a result, she received an overpayment of over £7,500.

Having pleaded guilty at the first opportunity - for which she received credit from the bench - she was sentenced to a community order of 12 months to complete 90 hours unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £85, and the victim surcharge of £85. She will also have to repay the £7,500.

The Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service and Stevenage Borough Council worked jointly with the Department of Work and Pensions to investigate the allegations and bring this successful prosecution.

You can report suspected fraud against Stevenage Borough Council in the strictest confidence.

For more information, and to report your concerns, go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/spotfraud, email fraud.team@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4033.