1. ITV Report

Court hears how former Miss Britain competitor falsely claimed benefits

Rachel Hatton, former Miss Britain Competitior Photo: PA

A court has heard how a former Miss Britain Competitor falsely claimed thousands of pounds in benefits as a single parent, when she was in fact living with her boyfriend.

It is alleged that 29-year-old Rachel Hatton from Northampton did not tell Northamptonshire Council that she was living with Nathaniel Simon, her partner.

In stead, when she moved into a four-bedroom house which owned and lived in by him, she claimed that he was her landlord.

Rachel made claims for housing benefit and council tax, as well as legal aid and income support.

Northampton Crown Court heard how she was awarded £511 to cover the £675 monthly rent.

Laura Hobson, opening the case for the prosecution, said that theirs was not a commercial landlord-tenant arrangement and the pair were actually involved in a relationship.

She told the jury that they should have told the council about their relationship as it could have affected the amounts of benefits that Hatton had received.

Rachel Hatton was the first single parent/divorcee to be allowed to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, after winning the regional title of Miss Warwickshire.

The court heard how thirty-six year old Nathaniel Simon did not make her pay for any utility bills or make up the shortfall in rent for the house on Foxfield Way, Grange Park, in Northampton.

It was claimed by the pair that he slept in a caravan whilst she lived inside the house.

Hatton, of Foxfield Way, denies one count of making false representation, two counts of fraud by failing to disclose information and another count of fraud by false representation over a two-year period between 2009 and 2011 - in relation to the benefits claims.

Simon, also of Foxfield Way, denies furnishing false information in relation to the tenancy agreement that he and Hatton had, and another charge of fraud by failing to disclose information.