Benefit cheat fined thousands in court

A TILBURY woman received a community sentence after appearing at Basildon Magistrate’s Court charges with benefit fraud.

Belinda Grimes, 44 of Perth House, Canberra Square, appeared in court on Friday (20 January) facing three charges of benefit fraud committed against Thurrock Council.

The court heard she had failed to declare her partner was living with her. She had been overpaid £7,312 Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

The court was also informed she had been overpaid £7,027 benefit by the Department for Work and Pensions, who would be taking separate action against her.

Grimes was sentenced to a 12 month community order, with 12 months supervision by the Probation Service. She was also ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work while under supervision.

In addition to these penalties, she will also have to repay all of the overpaid benefit owed to the council.

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