A Huddersfield couple have been given suspended jail sentences for a £25,000 benefit fraud after they claimed to be a landlord and tenant.
Vincent Blake-Barnard prosecuting for Kirklees Council told the court although Kelly was the father of her son McHugh said Kelly was only her landlord and his address for contact was elsewhere.
Her case was reviewed on occasions over the next few years and visits were made to her during which she said she was the only adult living at the property.
Kelly also confirmed in a letter he was the landlord to whom the benefits should be paid and when he was first interviewed in 2013 he denied they had been living as a couple and claimed he had bought the house only for an investment and had been living in a motor home for the last 15 years.
Mr Blake-Barnard told the court investigation subsequently showed the pair had a joint bank account and had gone on family holidays together on several occasions over the years.
Mr Blake-Barnard said in August 2011 Kelly applied for a passport giving the Manchester Road address. “In short we would say the claim was fraudulent from the outset and that they were a couple.”
The total involved by the time the offences came to light was £25,928.62. Some had already been repaid but about £18,000 remained outstanding and would be the subject of financial proceedings.
The court heard Kelly had told a probation officer they had not realised at the start they should have supplied the information involved and they accepted they had opportunities to rectify the situation.
He worked as a painter and decorator and used car dealer while McHugh had a job with a supermarket company. She also accepted she had a gambling problem in the past.
Kelly, 49, now of Skelton Crescent, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield, admitted five offences of making false representations for benefit, McHugh, 46, of the same address admitted seven offences. They also asked for one other offence to be taken into consideration.
Both were given 18 months in prison suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work.