A mother-of-two from Chorley has been found guilty of benefit fraud totalling more than £6,000.

Jennifer Marie Barrow, 28, of Rothwell Road, Anderton, pleaded not guilty at Preston Magistrates’ Court of three charges of dishonestly obtaining £6,600 in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Magistrates heard she had legitimately claimed the benefits as an unemployed single parent, however she failed to notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Chorley Council when her partner moved in with her and that he was in full-time work.

She was found guilty following a trial and was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

She was ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and to pay court costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Steps are now being taken to recover the overpayment.

Coun Graham Dunn, who is responsible for benefits at Chorley Council, said: “This case came to light when anonymous information was received by the DWP that Miss Barrow’s partner was living with her and that he was in work.

“As the allegation also included housing and council tax benefits, the DWP invited Chorley Council investigators to join the investigation and prosecution of Miss Barrow.

“This is another excellent example of the council and the DWP working together to bring the full extent of fraud to the court’s attention.

“I would urge anyone who has information about benefit fraud to contact the fraud hotline on 0800 328 6340. It’s free and it’s confidential.”