Burnley mum-to-be in £38k benefit scam faces jail
A MOTHER-to-be who carried out a £38,000 benefits fraud over six years has been told she is likely to face jail.
Jacqueline Nankunda is expecting a child later this year and was concerned that she might face time behind bars, Burnley Crown Court was told.
The court heard she held a number of jobs from 2006 onwards while claiming the income support, housing and council tax benefit, and disability living allowance for a period.
Defence counsel Martin Hackett said that Nankunda had experienced a ‘difficult time’ over the past seven or eight years with depression.
“She took on work for a short period of time, then this was reduced to 22-and-a-half hours per week,” said Mr Hackett.
“She did fail to notify the authorities of the change in her circumstances.”
Mr Hackett had asked Judge Jonathan Gibson for an indication of a likely sentence for his pregnant client, so she could prepare herself for her immediate future.
Mr Hackett added: “She is expecting a child and the indication is so she can get her head around it, whether it is going to be a definite custodial sentence or to put her fears at rest.”
Nankunda, 26, of Kingsbury Place, Burnley, admitted five offences of failing to notify a change in circumstances for benefits and one charge of making a false representation, for claims dating between 2006 and 2011.
Judge Gibson said that the most assistance he could give was that the likely custodial sentence for the offences would be 18 weeks.
And it would depend on her pre-sentence report on whether that term could be suspended, added the judge.
Nankunda was bailed until November 23 for sentence.