Sandy woman lands herself in court after illegally claiming £2,300 from Central Bedfordshire Council

Katherine Roberts was sentenced at Luton Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Katherine Roberts was sentenced at Luton Magistrates' Court yesterday. - Credit: Archant

A woman from Sandy has been sentenced for illegally claiming £2,300 in council tax support.

Katherine Roberts – who lives in Swift Close – was handed a suspended 12-week custodial sentence for falsifying payments to Central Bedfordshire Council at Luton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The unitary authority’s fraud investigators established that between April 2013 and October last year the 43-year-old had provided 14 falsified payslips showing significantly less than what she actually earned.

After pleading guilty to nine charges of supplying false information to the Council, Roberts was given her 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, as well as being told to pay prosecution costs of £686.65 and a victim surcharge of £80.

Roberts also had to repay all of the council tax support which she claimed illegally.

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Sentencing her, the Magistrates said that they believed the offences were serious and sophisticated enough to cross a custody threshold.

They felt that a substantial degree of planning must have gone into producing false payslips.

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Councillor Richard Wenham, who is responsible for corporate resources at the unitary authority, said: “Council tax support is there to help hard-working people who need it to cope financially – it is not there to be abused in order to top up your income.

“By fraudulently claiming you rob the council and council tax payers of money that would otherwise have been spent on vital public services.”

If you believe that someone is illegally claiming council tax support you can email or call 0300 300 5476.

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