£10,000 Gravesend benefit cheat sentenced

PUBLISHED: 16:26 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:26 18 June 2013

A Gravesend mum who fraudulently claimed more than £10,000 in benefits has been handed a 12-month community order.

Leanne Chikurumene, previously of Nelson Road, will have to repay the £10,630.58 worth of housing and council tax and income support benefits.

She pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to promptly declare changes in circumstances after it was found her husband moved in with her without telling the council.

Dartford Magistrates’ Court heard Mrs Chikurumene change her plea on June 10 having initially denied her guilt at an earlier hearing.

Evidence obtained by a Gravesham Council investigator found the couple married in 2011 and they had been living together ever since..

She was sentenced to a 12 month community order, curfew for 12 weeks between the hours of 9pm to 6am and ordered to pay £100 costs.

The cabinet member for finance Cllr Naranderjit Singh Thandi said: “The council won’t tolerate benefit cheats who are effective stealing from those who are in the most need. It is our policy always to prosecute.”

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