A MUM of two will have to carry out unpaid work after she admitted to dishonestly claiming housing benefit.

Anne Marie Jones, 36, of Mainwaring Drive in Saltney Ferry claimed more than £7,000 from Flintshire Council over the course of three years, having not disclosed to them the income she was receiving from her place of work.

In total, Jones had claimed £7,770.68 between December 7, 2015 and December 2, 2018 and it was only when the council carried out data matches with HMRC, was her failure to declare being in paid employment flagged up.

Justin Espie, prosecuting at Mold Magistrates Court, said how Jones had made a full admission when interviewed by the DWP over the matter.

Patrick Geddes, defending, told the court that his client works 20 hours a week and is the sole carer for her two children.

She began to claim housing benefit in 2010 and although she started work four years later, she was not working many hours at first, with the level of income she received being minimal.

Mr Geddes said the amount claimed by Jones over the three year period equated to just £49 a week extra, and explained that she had not been living a lavish lifestyle, despite the fact she had not been entitled to the money.

He went on to say how his client had only ever just had enough money for her and her two children to get by and although acknowledging she should have told the local authority of her change in working hours, had not actually noticed much difference in the money she had available to her.

Mr Geddes said: "This wasn't a case where my client was going out for expensive meals or anything like that.

"There is genuine remorse on her part and she's already been making steps to repay the money. She continues to live in some degree of financial hardship."

With her financial situation being the way it is, and due to the fact she has two children, Mr Geddes asked the bench to hold back from a financial penalty or some kind of curfew.

Magistrates gave Jones credit for her guilty plea and told her that the offence had crossed the custody threshold but that a financial penalty would burden her "too much".

She was told she must complete 80 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of the same amount.