A BEAUTICIAN who fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds in benefits over a period of nearly a decade has been spared prison.

Warrington Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday, October 30, that Ellie Tobin fraudulently claimed a total of £4,557.16 in council tax support and single person’s discount.

The 33-year-old first made an application for a claim for a property she owned on Chicago Place in Chapelford to Warrington Borough Council in August 2009.

While this application stated that she was the only adult occupant, her partner Alan Tobin was living with her throughout the eight-year period of the claim – which ran until the couple moved out in July 2017.

Investigations found that an application for planning permission in February 2011 was made in his name, while a statement in gave to police in 2014 said that he had lived at the address for five years.

Ellie Tobin, now of Widnes, failed to disclose a total of eight bank accounts she held with HSBC – including one which had monies in excess of £200,000 going through it and another with £164,000, as well as an account for her beauty business.

The mum – who admitted seven counts of fraud during an earlier hearing – was also self-employed, meaning she was not entitled to council tax support.

But Tobin was spared an immediate jailed sentence, instead being handed a 16-week imprisonment suspended for a year.

District judge Bridget Knight described her actions as ‘eight year of prolonged deceit on the public purse’.

Sentencing, she added: “For eight years you were defrauding the public purse to the tune of £4,557.16.

“There were several false claims within this period.

“Having heard what I’ve heard, this is an offence that crosses the custody threshold.

“This 16-week sentence will hang over you for the next 12 months.

“If you breach this requirement, it will be within the court’s power to send you to prison for 16 weeks.”

Tobin was also handed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days and told to pay court costs of £850 plus a victim surcharge of £115.