A BENEFIT fraudster from Flackwell Heath has been sentenced to ten weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, after obtaining nearly £12,000 from Wycombe District Council.

Stella Davis, 57, had been claiming housing benefit on the grounds that she is disabled and was unemployed.

However, an investigation by the council's fraud team revealed that she had on four occasions been in employment and had failed to declare it, they had said.

After pleading guilty to four counts of fraudulently obtaining £11,997 in housing benefit, Davis was sentenced to ten weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months on Wednesday, August 6.

In addition to her sentence, she also received a three month curfew order which prohibits her from leaving the house between 5pm and 5am and she was ordered to pay £1,500 in costs plus an £80 victim surcharge.

She is also repaying fraudulently obtained benefits in addition to the costs and surcharge, a WDC spokesman said.

WDC cabinet member for finance, Mel Foster, said: “The vast majority of benefit claimants are genuine and it's only a minority who try to cheat the system.

“While claimants may not have set out to cheat the system, the reality is that if they don't tell us that their circumstances have changed, they could end up in hot water and held publicly accountable for their actions.”

Suspected benefit fraud can be reported by email to fraud.investigations@wycombe.gcsx.gov.uk or by freephone on 0800 015 8995.

All emails and calls are treated in confidence.