Sentence deferred on benefits fraudster

Jedburgh Sheriff Court
Jedburgh Sheriff Court

A woman who falsely claimed more than £2,000 in benefits was said to have been “confused” and naive”.

Joanna Witczak, 21, of Galalaw Road, admitted failing to declare employment and obtaining £1,794.94 Income Support to which she was not entitled, between January 22 and July 16 last year.

She also admitted failing to notify Scottish Borders Council of a change of circumstances and obtaining Housing and Council Tax benefit of £626.72 to which she was not entitled, between January 22 and August 18 last year.

“She said she had checked the internet and thought she could work up to 16 hours and claim,” said depute fiscal Tessa Bradley.

Defence solicitor Ross Dow added: “She was confused about the situation, and this was a genuine case of naivety.

“It was more of a reckless act than a wilful one,” he added.

Sentence was deferred for six months, until April 21 next year, for repayment and good behaviour.