Benefit cheat who illegally claimed more that £5,000 prosecuted by Stevenage Borough Council

Karen Ketteridge pleaded guilty to illegally claiming benefits on Monday

Karen Ketteridge pleaded guilty to illegally claiming benefits on Monday - Credit: Archant

A benefit cheat has been prosecuted for fraudulently claiming more than £5,000 from Stevenage Borough Council.

Karen Ketteridge, of Collenswood Road, pleaded guilty to illegally claiming £4,626.33 in housing benefit and £1,011.35 in council tax from August 1, 2011, to April 1, 2013, at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The 45-year-old had failed to inform the council that her son had turned 18, making her ineligible for the benefits.

Ketteridge was fined £140, ordered to contribute £750 towards prosecution costs and pay a £20 victim surcharge. She will also have to repay the money she fraudulently claimed.

Councillor Joan Lloyd, responsible for resources at the council. said: “This investigation shows that it’s vital that our residents notify us if their situation changes. We will not tolerate abuse of the benefits system and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those who make fraudulent claims.

“It is a criminal offence to not notify us if your circumstances change, so don’t be tempted to keep quiet. It simply isn’t worth it.”

For information on council tax support and advice on entitlement, contact the council tax team on 01438 242242 or visit www.stevenage.gov.uk.