NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen mother jailed for £50,000 benefit fraud

A mother-of-three has been jailed for 10 months for fraudulently claiming almost £50,000 in benefits.

Eleanor McIntosh, 43, of Aberdeen, said she made the false income support claim because her husband refused to support her sons from a previous relationship.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court, McIntosh admitted defrauding the Department for Work and Pensions of £47,878 by making false representations.

She had claimed to be living alone between March 2004 and January 2010.

The court heard McIntosh was actually married to a long-distance lorry driver.

'Personal tragedy'

Defence agent Mike Allan said McIntosh struggled to cope financially with three children and no support from her new husband.

He said: "Her husband made no attempt to get to know these boys. He didn't take them under his wing at all. He made it clear to my client that she had to look after and pay for the boys.

"Her husband now understands that he should have given her support over those years."

But Sheriff Malcolm Garden said McIntosh would have to go to prison to set an example.

He said: "I accept that this is perhaps a personal tragedy for you and I accept that other than in respect of this matter you may have been a good citizen and attempted to be a good mother to your children.

"But this is an extremely high fraud. People can't think they can get away with it when they have family difficulties to explain away the circumstances."

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