Jedburgh 76-year-old admonished for £27,000 benefit fraud

A pensioner has been admonished for a £27,000 benefit fraud after Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told she is paying back all that money.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Christina Weir, of Castlegate in Jedburgh, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud.

Over a period of eight years, from September 2009 to July 2017, the 76-year-old failed to notify Scottish Borders Council that she had capital over the prescribed limit and that led to her being paid £24,052 in housing benefit she wasn’t entitled to.

Weir was also paid £1,623 in council tax benefit between September 2009 and March 2013 and a further £1,795 in pension credits between December 2012 and September 2016.

She admitted failing to tell the relevant authorities about changes to her personal circumstances affecting her benefit entitlement.

Defence lawyer Maureen Sinclair said the pension credit sum had already been repaid and Weir is repaying the rest of the money she owes at a rate of £500 per month.

She described first offender Weir as a “valued member of the community” but added that she accepted she she should have kept better records and was ashamed of the offence.

Ms Sinclair added that her client had enrolled on a Borders College course to help her keep better accounts.

She asked for an admonition, pointing out that Weir was paying the money back at a “rapid” rate and there would be no loss to the public purse by the time she finishes.