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Benefit cheat ordered to pay back 30k

Worcester Editorial 21st May, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A BENEFIT cheat who illegally claimed more than £30,000 in payments has been ordered to pay back everything she owes.

Paula Hayward, of Elgar Court, Rainbow Hill, must repay a total of £32,020 after she pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to disclose a change in her finances.

The 60-year-old was also given a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work after Worcester Magistrates Court heard last Friday (May 16) she intended to make a gain on Housing and Council Tax between February 2010 and August 2012 and Employment Support Allowance from May 2011 to March 2012.

There were also two charges of failing to disclose Income Support, from November 2007 to January 2009 and February 2010 to January 2011.

In 2007 Haywood was claiming benefits as she couldn’t work, but evidence came to light she had £79,000 following the sale of a property in Worcester, the court also heard.

Defending solicitor Susie Duncan told Magistrates how the defendant moved £35,000 of that into a capital bond, but this was not declared, meaning she was not entitled to her benefit claims as it exceeded the £16,000 limit.

Haywood, who works six hours at a charity shop and six hour as a cleaner, has currently paid back between £15,000 and £16,000.

Susie Duncan said: “She clearly feels ashamed she hasn’t declared this one bond. She suffers with memory issues and had just forgotten about this one bond which had the money sitting it.”

Haywood was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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