A traffic warden and his partner who fraudulently claimed more than £70,000 in benefits were jailed for ten months each yesterday.
Parking official John Lawrence, 57, helped girlfriend Jean Swift, 58, claim income support, housing benefit and council tax relief.
She was paid the huge sum over a period of six years on the basis she was a lone woman with two dependant grandchildren.
But she was living with Lawrence who was working as a traffic warden with Plymouth City Council in Devon, a court head.
Swift, of Plymouth, was overpaid £72,947.84 between October, 2001, and May, 2008.
She admitted ten charges – three of making a false statement, two of obtaining property by deception, three of procuring a valuable security and two of dishonestly concealing facts to obtain benefit.
Lawrence admitted two charges of obtaining property by deception by aiding and abetting his wife and two of dishonestly concealing facts to obtain an exemption in order to obtain benefit.
The couple were jailed for ten months each at Plymouth Crown Court.
John Martin, fraud manager at the Department for Work and Pensions said after the hearing: ”When people receive benefits from us they enter into a contract to tell us of any change in their circumstances.
”Deliberately not doing so is a crime and takes valuable funds from those who need them the most.
”At best they will have to repay us all the money they have taken, at worst they will end up a criminal.”
The court head Swift claimed income support at £154 per week, housing benefit of £71.57 and council tax benefit of £15.25.
In total she fraudulently claimed £44,980.78 income support, £23,724.24 housing benefit and £4,242.62 council tax benefit.
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