A BENEFITS cheat who fraudulently claimed more than £2,500 over a three-month period had secured herself a job while she continued to claim employment and support allowance.

Anne Sanderson, 52, continued to receive the allowance, as well as housing benefit, after finding herself employment with a construction firm between December 2016 and March 2017.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that Sanderson wanted to get herself back into work despite ill-health, but found she could not continue her employment after three months in the job.

Sanderson, of Kinross Close, in Birtley, near Chester-le-Street, claimed £1,317.21 in the employment and support allowance intended to give help disabled people facing difficulty finding work.

Claims for £1,262.71 in housing benefit were also made during the three-month period.

Andrew Teate, mitigating, said: “The error of judgement was not her wanting to go back into work, but the difficulty was she got the job and didn’t notify the Department for Work and Pensions.”

Sanderson pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to notify the DWP and Gateshead Council of her change in circumstance and was fined £80.