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In court for ‘a simple mistake’

magMAGISTRATES gave a conditional discharge to a woman from Fishguard, after she pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her work. Teresa Sinnott, aged 52 of Gwelfor, had a second similar charge dropped after her guilty plea as the CPS told the court it was not in the public interest to proceed with that charge. Prosecuting, Nick Newton said: “Sinnott is in receipt of carers allowance and cares for her disabled father. She began working in February and as a result she was under a duty to notify the carer’s allowance department. She accepts that she failed to do so.

“The Department for Work and Pensions and Inland Revenue found out that she was working and she accepted that she had failed to notify them in her interview. “Sinnott holds a seasonal job and she did notify the relevant authorities in 2013. This year she rung income support but accepted that she hadn’t notified the carers allowance department. “The actual overpayment between March 4 and November 20 is £2264 but she has come to an agreement to repay that money”.

Defending, Matt Greenish said: “This is a very unfortunate incident in what has been a bit of a minefield. Every 12 months she calls to contact the Department for Work and Pensions but on this occasion there was an oversight on her part. This was a simple mistake, and unfortunately she finds herself in this position.” The magistrates agreed and gave Sinnott a conditional discharge that will last for 12 months. She was also told to pay £250 in court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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Tom Sinclair

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