A married woman faked being a single mother to con the benefits agency out of £8,000 to help pay for her online gambling habit.
Tracey Young, 38, spent more than a year pretending to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that she was a single mother without a husband.
Young duped the agency into paying her £8,000 in benefits which she blew gambling on electronic fruit machines online.
153 hours of unpaid work
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis ordered Young to carry out 153 hours unpaid work after ruling out a curfew, which he felt would be counter-productive.
He said: “A restriction of liberty order is sometimes the cop-out sentence in cases such as these but this seems to me to be totally self-defeating.
“According to this report the reason you got into this hole was that you were spending all your available funds on online slot games.
“So it seems to be totally self-defeating to order you to stay indoors for 12 hours each day and have you possibly focus all the time on online betting, Sheriff Foulis told Young, adding: “The bottom line is that unpaid work is the obvious way of dealing with you, other than custody.
“This sentence is an alternative to custody. If you don’t want to go to custody then get the work done.
“No buts, no excuses. get the work done then get on with your life.”
Young, of Bute Drive, Perth, admitted knowingly making a false representation to the DWP on the phone to claim income-related earning support allowance between January 1 2016 and January 3 2017.
She further admitted having obtained money she was not entitled to by claiming she was a single mother when she was in fact living with, and being supported financially by, her husband.
Her not guilty plea to a second charge of having cheated the local authority out of £3,367.99 in housing benefits in the same manner was accepted by the Crown.
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