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Former Croxley resident sentenced

Kevin Snow23rd September 2013

A former Croxley Green resident has appeared in St Albans Crown Court for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty on 1 August 2013 to a number of benefit fraud offences totalling £60,000 of overpaid Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

The Court had previously heard that fraud investigators from both the local authority and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) had obtained evidence to show that Ms Celine Jade Astier, formerly of New Road, Croxley Green had been claiming Housing and Council Tax Benefit, as well as Income Support, on the basis of being a single parent when in actual fact she had been financially supported by her employed partner for a period of three years.

Before passing sentence HHJ Plumstead, the presiding Judge, commented that Ms Astier had an obligation to report her true circumstances but had deliberately chosen not to do so and described her actions as shameful.

However, having considered Ms Astier’s previous good character, he sentenced her to a 200 hours unpaid work and supervision order which was to be completed within 12 months. HHJ Plumstead concluded the proceedings by saying that there would be no second chance for Ms Astier and, if convicted of any other offence, would reserve sentencing. Proceedings are in place to recover the money overpaid to Ms Astier.

You can report any concerns about suspected fraud by ringing freephone 0800 458 9200 or emailing fraud@threerivers.gov.uk All concerns raised will be treated in complete confidence.

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