Benefit cheat slapped with community service order

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A woman who falsely claimed benefits totaling more than £10,000, was ordered to complete 144 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

Leila Gentleman, 26, of Eildon Road, admitted obtaining £5,243 income support and £5,473 housing and council tax benefit, to which she was not entitled, between April 2007 and November 2010.

Defence solicitor Iain Burke told Jedburgh Sheriff Court his client was making regular repayments of the sums involved.

Sheriff Donald Corke told her: “I appreciate that it can be quite tempting to help yourself to benefits in this way, but these things have a habit of catching up with you.

“Given that you are making efforts to repay the money, I am going to impose community service,” he concluded.