Pensioner falsely claimed thousands while working as a cleaner

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 67-year-old from Barnstaple failed to declare she was working as a cleaner while claiming pension credits.

A 67-YEAR-OLD woman has been ordered to undertake unpaid work after falsely claiming more than £4,000 in pension credits.

Janet Draper, of Church Grove, Barnstaple, failed to declare she was working as a part-time cleaner for the Olive Branch while claiming pension credits.

North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard today (Fri) how Draper undertook four hours of work a week from September 2007 until September 2010 and returned to the same job from August 26 last year.

During this time she claimed an overpayment of £4,428.68 in pension credits.

Tony Dart, defending Draper, said she had naively thought she did not have to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about her job as it was less than 16 hours a week.

He said she had taken up employment cleaning the bar as she was struggling to live on just her state pension.

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Presiding magistrate Martyn Steer-Fowler said the bench had given Draper credit for the fact she had made a full and frank admission.

He said: “You felt you were doing nothing wrong and said you were naïve.

“But the department makes it very clear and asks you to tell them, if you’re receiving any benefit from work, but you failed to do so.”

Draper was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £60.

The court heard she was already paying the money back at a rate of £20.50 a week so made no order for compensation.

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