A WOMAN fraudster from the Holme Valley has become one of the first criminals to be handed `weekend jail'.
The mother failed to disclose details about her husband on four applications for working families tax credits and was overpaid more than £21,000.
Sharon White will now have to spend the next 10 weekends at a prison in Lincolnshire.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday how White, 35, of Council Terrace, New Mill Road, Honley, made a series of applications for the tax credits.
But she never provided information about husband Paul's job or earnings.
Prosecutor Emma Downing said that although White was living with her husband she filled in her initial application as if she was a single mother.
White, who had no previous convictions, filled in three further applications in a similar way and she was overpaid £21,457.18 between July, 2001, and November, 2004.
She pleaded guilty to four allegations of false accounting.
Yesterday the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, made her the subject of an intermittent custody order.
He said he was doing this so White would be able to continue to work and her son would not be deprived of her company for a long period in one go.
Under the order White will have to arrive at the Lincolnshire prison by 8pm on a Friday night and stay there until she is released at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
The order will last for 28 weeks and when White is not in custody she will effectively be on licence.
Judge Gullick told White that in normal circumstances he would have sent her to prison straight away because she had been involved in `systematic dishonesty'.
He added: "There are lots of families and people who have a limited income who do not resort to such dishonesty, but struggle on as best they can."
Barrister Gillian Batts, for White, said the family was only receiving a modest income at the time of the applications and they were finding it very difficult to make ends meet.
She said if White was sent to custody immediately she would lose her job and that could have affect her husband's job and care of her son.
A Revenue and Customs spokes- man said: "Tax credit fraud is a serious issue.
"We hope this conviction will send out a strong message to others who are tempted to try and cheat the tax credits system."