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No jail for benefits claim cheat Tina Hollins despite second conviction

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

A NEWQUAY benefits cheat has escaped jail despite admitting giving false information to the authorities for the second time.

At Truro Crown Court on Friday, Tina Hollins, 54, of Tower Road, pleaded guilty to making a dishonest representation to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Edward Bailey, for the prosecution, said Hollins filled out a claim for income support on December 16, 2004, where she did not declare her husband was getting a £90 a month pension payment.

He said the failure led to Hollins being overpaid £9,272 in benefits up to March 2013 when the matter came to light.

He said: "When interviewed the defendant said that she forgot to declare her husband's pension on the form, saying she had not thought much about it.

"She did state that she took full responsibility for what had occurred, admitting what she had done was wrong. (She) said she was sorry."

Mr Bailey said Hollins had a previous conviction in 2006 for three offences of failing to notify the authorities of changes in her circumstances which affected her entitlement to claim benefits.

Terry Eastwood, for the defence, said Hollins had undergone a breast reduction in 2004 which had gone wrong and that she was not in the best mental or physical health at that time.

He said she continued to suffer from a condition which had caused an "almost gangrenous" skin infection and that the medicine she had taken for that had caused problems with her heart and liver.

Sentencing Hollins to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said he accepted that she suffered from serious ill health and was in constant daily pain.

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