‘Learned her lesson’ over benefits claim

A WOMAN who falsely claimed more than £5,000 in benefits when she failed to tell officials her partner had moved in said she has “learned her lesson”.

Angela Isgate, 42, received £5,349 she was not entitled to in Employment Support Allowance and housing and council tax benefit.

She was paid the benefits on the basis of being a single parent but failed to tell officials her circumstances had changed her partner moved in.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard he started living with her in December 2010 to help look after her and her three children when Isgate was struck down with rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

She continued to receive the overpayment for six months from December 16 2010 until June 30 last year.

Isgate admitted two counts of failing to notify of a change of circumstances.

The court heard she has since paid all of the money back.

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said coming to court had been a “harrowing experience” for her.

He said Isgate’s partner assumed more responsibility for the children when Isgate was ill and often in hospital.

Mr Taylor said: “In the midst of this she didn’t tell anybody and change her benefits claim.

“It was done because of the rigours of normal day to day living at that time.”

Isgate, of Ridley Court, Hartlepool, told magistrates: “I’ve learned my lesson.”

She was given a six month conditional discharge.