Illegal benefits claims lead to court

A forty-seven year old Whithorn woman who illegally claimed benefits while working part-time was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service by Sheriff Kenneth Robb at the court in Stranraer on Tuesday.

Catherine Craig, Castlewigg Hotel Cottage, admitted receiving Jobseekers Allowance of £4,522.88 between September 30, 2011 and February 8, 2013. She also claimed housing and council tax benefits totalling £226.42 between March 3 and November 4, 2012.

Craig’s agent Paul Feeney told the court that his client had since reached an agreement with the benefits agency to repay the money.

He said the offence took place after she got into financial difficulties when she accepted the offer of a temporary job from a retired minister, when his regular carer became ill.

The solicitor confirmed that Craig had now ‘sorted her life out’ and was holding down two jobs.