Fraudster must pay back £15k benefits

A Kimberley woman has been ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.

Paula Bell, 48, of Nottingham Road, Kimberley claimed housing benefit for nearly four years as a single person when she had a partner living with her.

In total she received £15,003.59 – every penny of which she was ordered to pay back.

Ms Bell’s solicitor said she was of previous good character and was ‘very embarrassed and regretful’. He said that she had not set out to deceive the council as the claim was legitimate at the outset.

Ms Bell was also ordered to pay £145 costs at the hearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.