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Mum-of-four fined for falsely claiming £3,000 in benefits

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

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A WOMAN has been fined after admitting falsely claiming benefits.

Tracey Elizabeth Anne Wood, 38, of Alder Way, West Cross, admitted a single charge of failing to notify a change in circumstances.

She claimed more than £3,000 in benefits between July and December 2011.

Swansea Magistrates' Court was told she had claimed housing and council tax benefit for an address at Bude Haven Terrace, Norton, and not declared she had moved to another address.

The offence came to light when a letter was returned to the council from the Norton address saying "Addressee gone away".

Council staff then checked with the Department of Work and Pensions who confirmed Wood's new address was elsewhere.

In her first interview, Wood said she had called and written to confirm her new address, but checks by staff revealed they had no records of any calls and she later admitted the offence.

Felicity Lewis, prosecuting for Swansea Council, said Wood had already repaid £1,766.

John Clayton, representing Wood, said his client was a mother-of-four and she had run into financial difficulties. "One of her children has cerebral palsy and at the time of the offence she was a single mother who was overburdened."

He said she was "floundering" with her finances and had been forced to move back to her parents. Wood was fined £110, told to pay £100 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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