Mum in benefits fraud

Crime story
Crime story

A BICKERSHAW mum has been given a year-long community order after admitting more than £16,000 benefit fraud.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates heard yesterday that Zoe Hodkinson, of Bolton House Road, had admitted two specimen offences but would not be subject to an order for compensation because the Department of Work and Pensions had made its own arrangements to recover the cash.

The 26-year-old mum-of-two pleaded guilty to making a false statement to obtain housing and council tax benefits, and failing to notify the authorities of a change of circumstances – that she was living with her former partner Luke Muscroft – which would have affected her right to Income Support.

Prosecutor Mike Ardern told the bench that Hodkinson that living with Mr Muscroft affected her entitlement to the rates of three different benefits from the outset.

Hodkinson must also completed 240 hours unpaid work and pay £85 prosecution costs and £60 victim surcharge.