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Benefits cheat mum from Leicester 'fleeced public'

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A benefits cheat who "fleeced the public" out of £55,000 she was not entitled to has been jailed for 12 months.

Mother-of-two Rosemary Hill defrauded the state for seven years, claiming council tax and housing benefits and income support, which later became jobseeker's allowance.

Sentencing at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Simon Hammond said: "The lesson must go out that if people abuse the benefits system, they must expect a significant custodial sentence."

Hill (47), of Sturdee Road, Eyres Monsell, Leicester, failed to declare to the authorities that she was living with her partner, who was in work and paying the household bills.

James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said Hill initially made a legitimate claim for benefits, as a single mother, in 1996.

But she failed to notify the authorities of a change in her circumstances when her partner took up residence with her in 2004.

She dishonestly continued claiming until January 2011.

Her partner was registered at her address with his GP, bank and several employers during that period.

Hill admitted three counts of benefit fraud.

The court heard the total overpayment was £54,998.

Hill, now a carer for the elderly, has already repaid about £4,500.

Judge Hammond described Hill's actions as "deliberate and prolonged".

He said: "This defendant fleeced the public for seven years.

"Although she's sorry now, she wasn't at the time. I regard this as very serious. It was a lot of money.

"Benefits are for the needy, not the greedy."

Jagvir Sangherra, mitigating, said Hill, was the mother of two grown-up children who were living at home.

She had no previous convictions.

Mr Sangherra said: "It was an honest claim to begin with, which became dishonest by virtue of the relationship and the use of her address.

"It was an on-off relationship. There was no lavish lifestyle. The money went on household expenses.

"She thoroughly regrets everything."

The court heard that Hill intended to appeal against her sentence.

Judge Hammond refused to grant her bail pending an appeal hearing.

Benefits cheat mum from Leicester ‘fleeced public’


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