Community service given to £25,000 benefits cheat

  • Published
Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Image caption,
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Patricia Sullivan has mental health difficulties.

A Midlothian woman has been ordered to carry out community service for conning the benefits system out of £25,000 by pretending she was a single mother.

Patricia Sullivan, from Newtongrange, was being financially supported by her husband, James Sullivan, 61.

Sullivan, 53, admitted fraudulently claiming for income support benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit between 29 July 2005, and 1 April 2008.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Sullivan had mental health difficulties.

The offence was discovered by an audit carried out by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Sheriff Isabella McColl said: "Because of all the circumstances I am prepared to place you on a community service order, but that is the discount."

The sheriff warned Sullivan had a year to complete the hours or face custody.

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