Mum fined for ben­e­fits ‘over­sight’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points of view -

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.”

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