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Shotton mum admits benefit fraud

A DEESIDE woman over-claimed more than £8,000 in benefits by pretending she was a single mum.

Victoria Sarah Carr, 24, was in fact living with her partner, the father of her two children.

A probe was started after a tip-off to a national benefit fraud hotline, Flintshire Magistrates were told.

Carr, of Ash Grove, Shotton, initially pleaded not guilty and insisted Anthony Edwards stayed with her three nights a week and for the rest of the time was of no fixed address.

But Bryony Tomlinson, prosecuting for the Department of Work and Pensions and Flintshire County Council, said there was a wealth of evidence to show they were a couple.

Carr changed her plea and was placed on a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard the money would be reclaimed from her benefits.

Magistrates were told Carr had been overpaid £3,294 in income support, £4,456 in housing benefit and council tax of £439.

Stephen Ferns, defending, said the claim had been genuine to begin with.

It had been a turbulent, on-off relationship and there were times when it was a grey area whether the couple were together or not. It had not been done for financial gain, he claimed.