Benefit fraud: Three women and man given suspended prison sentences

Three women and a man were convicted at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court today for claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

Clare Parke, 35, of Knock Eden Avenue, Ballymoney claimed Housing Benefit totalling £4,419 while failing to declare she was living with her landlord. She was given a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Elizabeth McLernon, 49, of Woodlands Court, Bushmills claimed Income Support, Housing Benefit and Carer’s Allowance totalling £7,387 while failing to declare employment. She was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Kelly-Ann Mitchell, 22, of Drumeen Drive, Garvagh claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £13,622 while failing to declare she was living with a partner. She was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

David O’Neill, 41, of Caman Drive, Ballycastle claimed Employment & Support Allowance totalling £6,681 while failing to declare employment. He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for three years

All four are also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.