A BENEFIT cheat who falsely claimed £98,213 after failing to tell authorities she was living with her partner has been given a suspended sentence.

Linda Rose Shippam, 47, from Malthouse Square, Beaconsfield claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support as a lone parent, and failed to declare she had her partner living with her.

Shippam also failed to advise that her adult daughter, who is working, was also living at the property.

Shippam appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court, sitting in Amersham, on Tuesday March 13, where she admitted five counts of benefit fraud.

She was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work.

She also has to pay back the £98,213 in overpaid benefits.

The case was jointly prosecuted by South Bucks District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Judge Simon Davis on sentencing said that Shippam had taken advantage of the system for years and that there would be no second chance for her.

Portfolio holder for resources at South Bucks District council, Duncan Smith, said: “Committing benefit fraud affects everyone. It is stealing from the public purse and this case proves that people who are attempting to ‘beat the system’ will get caught.

“We will find and prosecute those claiming any money to which they are not entitled.”

If you suspect someone is committing benefit fraud call 01494 732210 or email fraud@southbucks.gov.uk.