Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Angus mum, 25, guilty of £7k benefit fraud looks at sheriff ‘like a piece of dirt’ while chewing gum

Gemma MacAlister
Gemma MacAlister

A benefits cheat has been slammed by a sheriff for her failure to complete unpaid work imposed over a near-£7,500 swindle.

Gemma MacAlister was also sent from the dock at Forfar by Sheriff Gregor Murray to consider her attitude towards the bench after he said he did not expect the gum-chewing 25-year-old to look at him “like a piece of dirt on your carpet”.

The single mum later apologised to the sheriff but has had extra hours added to her community order, with a warning she could go to prison if the next review report is anything other than glowing.

MacAlister, of Glenogil Drive, Arbroath was previously sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work after admitting a series of benefit frauds over a period of almost three years.

She had been living with her partner at the time but claimed thousands of pounds in housing benefit, income support and tax credits between 2013 and 2015.

MacAlister was originally sentenced for the offences last year when the court was told she was deeply ashamed of her actions.

She has also been paying back the defrauded sum at £150 per month.

Sheriff Murray told MacAlister: “You need to grow up.

“You pled guilty to a significant offence involving a significant amount of public money and were given a number of hours to reflect your personal circumstances.

“Your attendance for unpaid work has been sporadic and social workers have bent over backwards for you.

“Your attitude is appalling. I do not expect you to look at me as if I am a piece of dirt on your carpet.”

Following an adjournment in her case after she was sent out of the dock, MacAlister’s solicitor, Grant Bruce, said the his client wanted to apologise to the sheriff.

“She has been finding things very difficult in terms of childcare. In addition she is paying back £150 per month, but she does understand the need for these hours to be done.

“They have now been confirmed for a Saturday and she is quite willing to do that.”

Sheriff Murray told MacAlister: “You have instructed Mr Bruce to say you are doing your best. I don’t believe that for a second and you can do an awful lot better.

“There will be a review in three months’ time. I expect that all of what you have been asked to do will have been done and if it hasn’t then other things will happen,” he said.

An additional 25 hours was also added to MacAlister’s CPO.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]