A WOMAN who dishonestly claimed more than £42,000 in benefits has been jailed for eight months.
Sylvia Jenkinson, 59, of Dalton, failed to declare that she had a part-time job at a pub, Bradford Crown Court was told yesterday.
Passing sentence, Recorder Euean Duff said it was with "a heavy heart" that he had to send her to prison.
But he added: "You knew perfectly well that you were obliged to report to the authorities any change in your circumstances and any work that was done."
Jenkinson, of Harp Inge, admitted four charges of furnishing false information to obtain disability benefits and asked for a further 83 offences to be taken into consideration.
Roger Birch, prosecuting, said that over six-and-a-half years Jenkinson falsely claimed just over £42,500 in severe disability allowance and disability living allowance.
Julia Nelson, for Jenkinson, said her client had become severely disabled and unable to work in 1990, after a knee operation went wrong.
She was later awarded disability benefits for life.
But she had to see a doctor every six months and sign a sick note, which stated that her circumstances had not changed.
Since the offences came to light Jenkinson and her husband had mortgaged the former council house they bought a few years ago. They were able to offer £31,000 to help repay the money she had claimed, said Ms Nelson.
Jenkinson had also arranged to repay some of the other benefit at £100 a month and had already paid back £1,100.
"She is otherwise an entirely respectable, hard-working lady," added Miss Nelson. "She has been terribly upset and ashamed of the shame she has brought on her family."
Recorder Duff said the offending was not dishonest at the start.
But he said the amount of money and period of time involved meant that anything less than imprisonment would be seen as a "grossly lenient" sentence.