Leeds benefit cheat hid her marriage from authorities to illegally claim almost £40,000

A married benefits cheat illegally claimed almost £40,000 by telling authorities in Leeds she was a single woman.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 10:44 am
Leeds Crown Court

Leanne Caizley lied about her marital statues in order obtain a range of benefits she was not entitled to over a five-year period.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Caizley got married in September 2011 but failed to declare it.

David Bradshaw, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Caizley made false claims for employment support allowance, job seekers allowance, income support, housing benefits and child tax credits.

Leeds Crown Court

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He said: "She wasn't a single lady and wasn't entitled to benefits."

The offending eventually came to light in 2016.

During an investigation bank statements and utility bills were discovered which revealed her true marital status..

Caizley, 34, was interviewed about the offending and admitted that she failed to declare that she was married as she knew the benefits would stop.

Caizley, of Pasture View Road, Rothwell, Leeds, pleaded guilty to five offences of benefit fraud.

The total amount of money illegally claimed over the period of offending was £39, 203.

Timothy Jacobs, mitigating, said: "It was far from an ideal relationship.

"She did marry the man concerned but he continued with his own life.

"He was living with her very infrequently and contributed little."

Mr Jacobs said Caizley was now repaying the illegally claimed sum from reductions in her benefits.

He said his client was in a "precarious financial position" and her home was at risk of being repossessed.

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He added: "That would be distressing fer her and her family."

Mr Jacobs said Caizley had a three-year-old child who would suffer if she was sent to prison.

Caizley was given a 32-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

She was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and told to take part in a 20-day rehabilitation programme.