Mum swindles state out of £29,500 in benefit fraudPA

A dishonest mum-of-three has been given a suspended jail sentence after admitting 11 offences of benefit fraud amounting to more than £29,500.

Lisa Smith, 32, stood before Preston Crown Court where she was accused of claiming to be an unemployed single parent in order to get state handouts.

The court heard that as a lone parent, Smith was eligible for income support and full housing and council tax benefits at her former homes in Chorley and Preston.

However, when her circumstances changed and she began living with her partner with whom she had two children, she failed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Ms Smith was sentenced to seven months in prison, which was suspended for 12 months. She was ordered to undertake 250 hours unpaid work.

David Cameron said in 2010 that benefit fraud costs the taxpayer a whopping £5.2 billion a year.