Euxton pensioner kept £30k premium bonds secret

A pensioner claimed more than £18,000 in benefits even though she had more than £30,000 in savings, a court has heard.

Catherine Smith, 74, of Greenside, Euxton, pleaded guilty at Chorley Magistrates Court to making false statements to gain housing and council tax benefits.

She had claimed the benefits since January 2007 on the grounds she had savings of no more than £3,500.

However, the court was told a data matching exercise revealed she had undeclared capital and when the council investigated, they found she had premium bonds of £30,000.

The magistrates heard her claim had been reviewed on three occasions since her initial claim in 2007, and each time she failed to declare her savings.

They sentenced her to a two-year conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £200 in costs.

Smith has made arrangements to repay in full.

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