Woman ordered to pay back £13,000 after dishonestly claiming benefits

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A woman who dishonestly claimed benefits while employed as a child care worker for Suffolk County Council has been ordered to hand over more than £13,000.

Keirderin Knight, 45, of Broom Street, Great Cornard, was overpaid more than £18,000 in housing and council tax benefit because she failed to tell the authorities that she had got a job.

In May, Knight was given a 22-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to three offences of dishonestly failing to notify a change in her circumstances.

At the time the court heard that Knight was making regular repayments towards the amount she had dishonestly received.

Today (September 30) Knight returned to court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, designed to recoup as much as possible of what she gained from her offending.

The court heard that specialist financial investigators had established that Knight had benefited by £13,701 and that she had available assets worth £25,000.

Judge Rupert Overbury ordered Knight to hand over £13,701 within the next three months.

Failure to comply with that deadline would result in eight months being added to her sentence, Knight was warned.

At the hearing in May, the court had heard that in addition to failing to notify the authorities that she was working, Knight had failed to disclose that she owned part of a house and had capital in excess of the amount allowed for claimants.