Brayton widow in benefit fraud

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A Brayton pet walker found herself in the dog house when she appeared before a court for a £65,000 benefit fraud.

Sharon Creasey, 51, legitimately started claiming widows’ allowance after the tragic death of her first husband in 1997.

However, Creasey, of St Wilfrids Court, continued claiming despite sharing her home with another, then co-habiting as man and wife and finally marrying.

All the time the self-employed dog walker was claiming widows allowance up to a total of £64,791.40.

She eventually handed herself in to the Benefits Agency.

York Crown Court heard that by 2000 Creasey, a mother of three, had needed to sell the former matrimonial home to help clear her debts and went into a shared agreement with Brian Anderson to pay for a joint rented property.

By 2002 the couple were living as man and wife, but Creasey continued to claim her widows’ allowance, finally contacting the authorities herself in 2011 and admitting what she had been doing.

Sentencing Creasey to nine months in jail, suspended for two years, Judge Shaun Spencer QC said that, although she had already repaid around £1,000 to the Benefits Agency, the sentence on the two admitted charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances was not the end of the matter. Creasey now faces an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.