Elsenham beautician spared jail after fraud

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 September 2016


An Elsenham beautician who fraudulently claimed nearly £20,000 in benefits has been spared jail.

Deborah Sepulveda, 54, had around £20,000 in savings left to her by her husband who died of throat cancer, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard.

Instead of jail Sepulveda, of Rush Lane, was made subject of a 12-month community order under which she was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and to pay £120 costs and £60 victim surcharge by magistrates.

She pleaded guilty to offences between September 10, 2012 and June 25, 2014 of making a false statement to obtain income support, causing a false document to be provided and two offences of failing to notify of a change of circumstances.

The court was told she has made repayments of around £10,000.

Grace Court, prosecuting, said the overpayment was about £19,000 although £21,000 had been claimed.

Alan Caldwell, mitigating, said the self-employed beautician lost her husband in August 2011 after he suffered throat cancer.

He continued: “There was no will but he had indicated he wished to set aside £20,000 between her and another family member.

“She was also providing care for her mother and claiming benefit, she closed her mind to the £20,000 and the longer it went on the more difficult it was to get to grip with matters.

“She has been living with the uncertainty for a year and repaid more than £200 a month showing her remorse along with the guilty pleas.”

She was sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (September 21).

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter