A WOMAN who failed to notify the council of a change to her circumstances, falsely claimed more than £6,000 in housing benefits.

Svetlana Putravsevica of Scott Street, Orford, failed to tell Warrington Borough Council that between January 2014 and February 2016 her working hours and pay had increased.

She appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court last Wednesday, September 19.

Nardeen Nemat, prosecuting, said: "The defendant was claiming housing benefit she wasn't entitled to. This led to an overpayment of £6356.16.

"She originally claimed in August 2013 for herself and her child on the basis of a low income.

"Putravsevica did not tell the council her earnings had increased in January 2014."

The court was told that Putravsevica had started paying back the money and had reduced the overpayment to £5732.

Zoe Keene, defending, said: "This young lady is Latvian and has been in the country since 2013. She arrived with very little language skills in terms of English and she still struggles in writing.

"She accepts that her working hours have gone up and down as she is an agency worker but didn't understand how quickly she had to notify the council of the changes.

"This was an offence of omission rather than dishonesty as she did not understand how the system worked.

"There is no suggestion that Putravsevica was living a lavish lifestyle - it was to support herself and her son."

Described as a 'lady of good character' Putravsevica has no previous convictions.

Chair of the Magistrates, Jane Fairburn, ordered Putravsevica to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay a £135 fine.