A MOTHER-of-three who dishonestly obtained state benefits of £60,000 has been jailed for 12 months today.
Members of Patricia Highton's close family wept as the 44-year-old was led to the cells at Liverpool Crown Court.
She had denied six fraud offences and was convicted of three of them after a trial and was cleared of the other three.
Jailing Highton, of Stanley Court, Birkenhead, Judge Andrew Hatton said that the jury had acquitted her of those offences because they found that her husband was not living with her at the time.
But they had been satisfied that she had then continued to claim benefits after he had returned to the matrimonial home and he was working.
The court heard that their third child was born in January 2005 so it was clear that the couple had resumed their relationship by May the previous year and from then until October 2011 she had received benefits totalling more than £90,000.
He said that she would have been entitled to notional tax credits of in excess of £30,000 bringing the total overpayment to £60,000 spanning seven years.
Judge Hatton said he accepted she had experienced difficulties in her life but so did other people and they did not resort to taking money to which they were not entitled.
about time this happened to someone, at least us hard working familys can hold our heads up high, there sould be more sent down and told to pay it back
these people know they are doing wrong so why all the tears