#relationshipscams | #dating | Benefits cheat mum who claimed £42k while having affair with landlord avoids jail


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A mum who fraudulently claimed over £42,000 in benefits while having an affair with her landlord avoided jail today.

Jennifer Aitken , 39, falsely claimed the cash from South Lanarkshire Council between October 2012 and April 2018.

Aitken told the DWP that she originally needed support but it had “snowballed.”

She broke the law by not telling the council on her application that she had two children with her landlord, Archie Durie.

Aitken pleaded guilty in November at Glasgow Sheriff Court to embezzling housing benefit of £42,874.85.

Glasgow Sheriff Court

Aitken was ordered to do the maximum 300 hours unpaid work as an “alternative to custody” by Sheriff Andrew Cubie.

She will also be under social work supervision for six months.

Sheriff Cubie said: “This was a serious fraud that could attract a custodial sentence, but I have taken into account your facts and circumstances.

“You were not the only or main beneficiary of this fraud.”

Lawyer, Linda Findlay, told a previous hearing that Aitken still lives at the flat owned by Mr Durie “rent free.”

The court heard Aitken lied on her benefits application form when it came to a question about her relationship with her landlord.

She denied having a relationship or children with Durie.

The DWP received a “tip-off” that the accused was living with “her partner named Archie Durie” and they investigated.

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Aitken when interviewed denied any knowledge of the fraud.

Prosecutor Lauren McRobert said: “Aitken later admitted to having an affair with her landlord and that he was the father of her sons.

“She said she needed support and then it snowballed.

“She said he did not live there at the time and had another family.”

Aitken was informed that she shouldn’t have claimed housing benefit based on her background.

She was re-assessed by the DWP and lost her housing benefits due to the relationship with Durie.

Aitken is currently in the process of repaying her fraudulently obtained amount.




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