£70,000 Stockton benefits fraudster facing possible prison sentence

A WOMAN involved in a £70,000-plus benefits fraud could be facing a prison sentence in the New Year.

Jillian Wilkinson lied about living with her partner to pocket huge hand-outs from the state for eight years.

She claimed £71,500 in JobSeekers' Allowance, housing benefit and Council Tax relief before the scam was uncovered.

The 46-year-old yesterday (Monday) admitted two charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances and one of fraud.

Her case at Teesside Crown Court was adjourned until January 22 so background reports can be prepared.

Duncan McReddie, defending, told Judge Peter Bowers: "Miss Wilkinson is a woman of previous good character.

"There is a significant sum involved. It is certainly on the cusp [of a jail sentence] therefore a ask for reports."

Wilkinson, of Londonderry Road, Stockton, was given unconditional bail until her next appearance at court.

Judge Bowers told her: "What happens on January 22 will depend on the reports and what the judge says that day."


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