Conditional discharge for benefit cheat

A GILTBROOK woman falsely claimed over £4,500 in income support and job seekers allowance, Broxtowe Borough Council has revealed.

Tonicha Bilsbrough failed to declare a property she owned in Bulwell and said she was living at her Portland Road address alone, as opposed to with her partner who owned the Giltbrook house and was also her landlord.

She had told the council she was paying £550 rent and claimed her house in Bulwell was where her landlord lived and was where she sent her rent payments.

In actual fact she rented the property out to her partner’s brother for £500 per month.

A joint investigation was carried out by Broxtowe Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions which revealed the person she claimed was her ‘landlord’ from Bulwell was actually living with her in Giltbrook.

Officers witnessed the man leaving the property in Giltbrook every morning to go to work and discovered he had given the property as his home address to the DVLA for his two vehicles.

He also registered there for electoral purposes and gave it as his home address for various billing points and service providers.

Ms Bilsbrough appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to six offences for claiming £2,881.25 Income Support and £1,683 Job Seekers Allowance between November 2008 and September 2010.

Housing and council tax benefit was never paid to her as Broxtowe Borough Council suspected the claim to be fraudulent.

The courts sentencing options were limited by her personal health circumstances. As a result she was given a conditional discharge for the longest possible period of three years. She was also ordered to pay £300 towards the prosecution costs.