A Fintry benefit cheat who admitted scamming the public purse to the tune of almost £10,000 by failing to tell benefits bosses she was getting student income has been told to do unpaid work.
Victoria Nixon previously appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court to plead guilty to scamming the DWP out of cash by not telling officers of a change in her circumstances.
The 48-year-old admitted defrauding the government department between September 2017 and June 2019.
During this time, Nixon admitted knowingly failing to give prompt notification to the DWP there was a change to the circumstances of her income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
She failed to disclose to staff she was in receipt of student income over this period.
Accordingly, she received £9,339.43 to which she was not entitled.
Didn’t ‘trickle through’
Last month, Sheriff Mark O’Hanlon deferred sentencing for reports and Nixon, of Finlow Terrace, Dundee, returned to the dock following an interview with social workers.
Her solicitor Ross Donnelly explained the money is being paid back through benefit sanctions.
He confirmed a debt of £8,239 remains outstanding.
Mr Donnelly said: “She attended university and she took out a student loan.
“She did pass on information regarding her course to the university and the local authority.
“She assumed that that would trickle through to the DWP – it obviously didn’t.
“I think they are taking as much as they are able to take.
“The university course unfortunately didn’t come to anything. She is not in any form of training at the moment, or employment.
“She would be in a position to do some form of unpaid work.”
Sheriff James Williamson imposed 135 hours of unpaid work, to be completed within a year.
The sheriff said: “To be fair to her, this is a first offence.
“I think given the nature of the offence and and the sum involved, a community payback order is appropriate.
“I’m going to make that for a fairly small number of hours.”