A PURBECK resident who falsely claimed benefits has been ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

Gail Jones, of Stour Drive, Wareham, admitted failing to declare to Purbeck District Council that she had capital in excess of £16,000 which would affect her entitlement to benefit.

Jones, aged 48, pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her by the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of Purbeck District Council.

The hearing took place at Bournemouth Magistrates Court where the defendant received 200 hours unpaid work over one year by a community order.

Jones has repaid in full the over-payment of council tax benefit and housing benefit.

Stuart Dawson, Purbeck District Council’s revenues and benefits partnership manager said: “The council pays benefits to the needy and not the greedy.

“It treats benefit fraud very seriously – it’s tax payers’ money that could be used elsewhere.

“The vast majority of people claiming benefits, quite rightly, receive what they’re entitled to.

“However, in partnership with our neighbouring councils, we rigorously investigate and successfully prosecute those who choose to cheat the system.

“I would encourage anyone who knows of someone committing benefit fraud to report it to us directly on 01305 211938 or at fraud@westwey.gov.uk.”