Knottingley woman given more than £10K in carer’s allowance she wasn’t entitled to

A woman who was paid more than £10,000 in carer’s allowance she wasn’t entitled to used it to make regular trips to Hartlepool to support her cancer-stricken elderly father, a court heard.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 11:50 am

Tracey Sowerby, of Knottingley, failed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions when she got a part time job working as a cashier at a Lidl supermarket.

Sowerby, 54, was paid a total of £10,461 over a period of more than three years.

Prosecutor, Catherine Duffy, said Sowerby, of Racca Green, stated she was not working before she started receiving carer’s allowance in August 2010. The court heard Sowerby signed a declaration saying she would notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if her circumstances changed.

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The court heard Sowerby told police she knew she had to notify the DWP of a change in circumstance, but didn’t think she had to report part-time work.

Sowerby, who has no previous convictions, admitted failing to declare a change in circumstance.

Probation officer Mick Berry told the court Sowerby, who has five children and 14 grandchildren, feels a “deep sense of shame and embarrassment.”

Mr Berry said Sowerby had used the carer’s allowance money to travel to Hartlepool three times a week to support her elderly father, who was suffering from a number of illnesses including cancer.

Mr Berry said Sowerby’s father sadly died in April.

Recorder Andrew Dallas handed Sowerby a six-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He also imposed a two-month electronically monitored curfew, and said it was “high unlikely” he would see Sowerby before the courts again.