A mother has been jailed for a £34,000 benefit fraud – as a sheriff blasted her husband for his part in landing her in the dock.
Emma Tanner was locked up for a year after she admitted defrauding £34,111 in a “deliberate” scam.
But a sheriff blasted her husband Christopher – saying he was “to some extent responsible” for landing her in the dock.
Tanner broke down in the dock as she was handcuffed and led to the cells.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard she was living with her husband – but hid that from benefit bosses, claiming she was a single mum.
But in reality she was living “on-off” with husband Christopher, allowing her to rake in income support, child tax credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit.
Tanner, 31, of Inchkeith Terrace, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to two charges under the Social Security Adminstration Act and one under the Tax Credits Act.
Defence solicitor David Duncan said: “There aren’t any other aggravating factors that the court often sees.
“She has no prior offending.
“She would have been entitled to some form of benefit at the time.
“There is no lavish lifestyle and the finances are still strained for the family.
“Your lordship can step away from custody to the maximum available community sentence.”
Sheriff Tom Hughes jailed Tanner for a year.
He said: “There are factors on each side I have to take into account.
“This happened over a considerable period of time.
“It also appears to be the case that during that time you were having an on-off relationship with your husband
“It is quite clearly a case he has left you in this position.
“He is actually to some extent responsible for getting you in to the situation you find yourself in.
“He can take no pride in his behaviour.
“Unfortunately you are left to carry the consequences.”
However, he added: “You made a deliberate calculation in taking the benefit when you well knew you were not entitled to it.
“The sum involved was over £34,000 of public funds to which you were not entitled.”