Mum fined for benefits ‘oversight’
A trainee paramedic has been fined after admitting claiming thousands of pounds in benefits without disclosing her changed circumstances to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Kirsty Pearce, of Bournewood in Hamstreet, appeared before Folkestone magistrates, where prosecutor Neil Sweeney described how the 32-year-old Pearce may have claimed as much as £13,000 unfairly after failing to tell officials she was living with a new partner.
The mum of three also failed to disclose she had £6,000 of savings following a lump-sum payment from her stressful divorce settlement.
The court was told that Pearcewas very disappointed in herself, and that she accepted that she should have told the authorities, but also that she is now working and paying off the cash.
Pearce, who is hoping to become a paramedic, was ordered to pay £85 court costs, a £175 fine, and a £30 victim surcharge.
Magistrate David Gardner said: “We understand that this was an oversight, not a deliberate attempt to defraud. As a father of five myself, I know that’s quite a lot of work.”