A WIDOW has been convicted of failing to declare a £15,000 bank balance while claiming almost £6,500 in benefits.
Sandra Richardson, 63, from Carrs Road, Marsden, was paid £6,474 in housing and council tax benefit from around July 2007.
But Richardson had failed to declare £15,000 which had been paid into her daughter’s account following the death of her husband.
The court heard Richardson had paid the money, left from the sale of the couple’s former home, into her daughter’s bank account after closing her own account.
Richardson admitted submitting false documents to obtain housing and council tax benefits.
In mitigation solicitor Bob Carr said Richardson had no previous convictions and was an ‘unlikely candidate’ to appear in court.
Mr Carr added Richardson’s late husband had taken sole control of all the couple’s financial affairs.
He said: “She had no idea where the monies were held and never acted on behalf of her husband.
“She has been fully compliant with the local authority and was extremely frank and declared the money that she and her daughter had...
“The only thing that has come from this is a court appearance and the loss of her good character.
“She is not a thief and she is not a dishonest woman. This was a woman who was totally out of her depth.”
Huddersfield Magistrates sentenced Richardson to a conditional discharge plus £300 costs after hearing she had paid back the full amount.