Woman told to repay thousands

A WOMAN will have to repay almost £10,000 in state benefits she was paid but not entitled to.

Rosanna Sawyer, formerly Old Orchard Road, Eastbourne and now living in West Sussex, has also been ordered by a court to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community punishment order.

Sawyer, 49, originally appeared before Eastbourne magistrates in December last year and pleaded guilty to four charges of dishonestly failing to promptly notify the benefits agencies of relevant changes in her circumstances. The court heard Sawyer claimed Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit and JobSeeker’s Allowance for herself, but failed to notify that she had no rental liability for the flat she claimed for and had additionally received capital sums above the prescribed limit of £16,000. As a result, she received benefits totalling £9,931.78, all of which she will have to repay. Sawyer later appeared before the magistrates and was sentenced to the punishment order and ordered to contribute £280 towards the council’s costs.

The prosecution was brought by Eastbourne Borough Council and the Department for Work & Pensions. Both are now urging members of the public who wish to report fraud to leave information on the Benefit Fraud Hotline by calling 0800 7317039.