‘Ashamed’ woman pretended to be single

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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A former probation officer turned into a benefits cheat when she lied to her new husband who worked for the Department of Work and Pensions a court was told.

Alison Goodman told her husband she was working in a shop because she was so ashamed of not having a job and he only found out the truth when they were evicted from their home.

The defendant did not want him to know she was on benefits

His wife was then prosecuted for fraud as she had claimed benefits by pretending to be a single mother who was jobless.

Goodman, 49, of Fairsnape Drive, Garstang, pleaded guilty to three offences of dishonestly making a false statement.

She was sentenced to do 60 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £420 costs by Blackpool magistrates.

Mary Grimshaw, prosecuting, said Goodman had failed to reveal to the authorities she had married on September 25 2012 and carried on claiming benefits as a single woman and lone parent.

Inquiries revealed Goodman’s new husband was disabled.

He claimed Disability Living Allowance and worked full-time for the Department of Work and Pensions in Preston.

Ms Grimshaw said: “The defendant told her husband she was working in Lancaster as she did not want him to know she was on benefits.

“He only found out when they were evicted.”

Goodman illegally claimed a total of £6,970 in Jobseekers Allowance from the DWP, plus council tax and housing benefits from Wyre Council, between September 2012 and July last year.

John McLaren, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had been in trying circumstances when she made the false claims.

He asked magistrates to read reports on Goodman.