A BENEFIT cheat has been sentenced to a 16-week curfew after stealing more than £1,600 from Warrington Borough Council.

Emma Peacey of Derek Avenue, Orford, appeared at Warrington Magistrates' Court on May 9 where she pleaded guilty to dishonestly claiming council tax support.

The 37-year-old committed the offence on September 12, 2013, when she stated she was a single parent – a statement that was untrue as at that time she was married and living with husband Lee Peacey.

The council tax support overpayment raised for this offence amounted to £1,627.69.

Peacey had originally been offered a financial penalty for committing the offence as an alternative to being prosecuted and gaining a criminal record.

She accepted this, however failed to pay the penalty although being given several opportunities and clearly being told the consequences of non-payment.

The magistrates sentenced Peacey to a curfew from the hours of 9pm to 6am for 16 weeks which started immediately.

She was also fined £85 victim surcharge, £500 in costs and ordered to repay the original overpayment in full.