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Benefit fraud mum sentenced to unpaid work

A Reading mum-of-two has admitted to benefit fraud and has been sentenced to 160 hours unpaid work.

Katherine Harkin, who is 24-years-old, falsely claimed £24,285 in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefits for almost 5 years.

The mum from Skye Close, Calcot, was also ordered to pay £250 legal costs during the hearing at Reading Magistrates' Court.

When the original financial claims were made, Mrs Harkin said she was a single parent with no income.

However, the government's work and pension department and Reading Borough Council found she had been living with her husband for some time.

Mrs Harkin said she became ill in 2010 and her husband had stayed to look after the children, but this became a permanent arrangement.